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HesperiaStar.com
  • Family finds graduation speech of Victorville teen killed in motorcycle crash

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  • COLTON — The mother of a 17-year-old Adelanto High School student who died in a motorcycle crash in Colton on July 19 told the Daily Press her son had been chosen to speak at his graduation this year.
    The family found the speech Frank Ramos planned to give on his cellphone.
    “He had turned his life around,” Eliza Ramos said of her son on Wednesday. “He went from getting straight F’s to getting A’s and joining the (Victorville) Fire Explorers and staying out of trouble.”
    A June 21 article in the Daily Press reported Frank was killed when he was riding his motorcycle near the intersection of Meridian Avenue and C Street just after 11:50 p.m. June 19 in Colton.
    A news release from the Colton Police Department said authorities responded to a collision between a motorcycle and another vehicle. Frank was passing vehicles at a high rate of speed when he crashed into the back of the other vehicle, police said.
    He sustained major injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by Colton Fire Department Paramedics. Eliza Ramos said Frank’s funeral was held Aug. 4.  
    Frank was a senior at Adelanto High School and was scheduled to graduate this year. Eliza Ramos told reporters the teacher had chosen him to speak because of his dramatic turnaround.
    “Frank ... was a happy child,” Eliza Ramos said. “We had lots of support from Adelanto High School. I’m just so sad. He had three sisters, three brothers, a nephew and a niece.”
    He joined the Victorville Fire Explorers, and Eliza Ramos said he had just landed a job at Smart and Final.
    “He impressed me, he was very respectful and was telling me about how he recently turned his life around,” said San Bernardino County Fire Department Capt. Jay Hausman. “Every once in a while you get that one kid that sticks out in the (Fire Explorers) program, and he was that for me. I felt I could be the mentor I was supposed to be for him.”
    Eliza Ramos said Frank’s grandfather gave him the motorcycle as a reward for all of his hard work. He had had it for three weeks before he crashed.
    “When we went to pick up his property; we got his phone,” she said. “We were trying to snoop through it and his older brother cracked the passcode on the first try. How is that possible? Who does that? It was amazing.”
    She said as they looked through the phone, they found a note created days before the crash that was the speech Frank was planning to give at graduation. Eliza Ramos said the high school’s teachers made such an impression on Frank that she wanted them to know how grateful he was.
    Following is the text of the speech Frank planned to give:
    Class of 2015 make some noise ...
    Wow, weren’t we just freshmen?
    Crazy how fast life hits you, isn’t it?
    Man, this school has a bunch of good-hearted people, down to the teachers and students, it’s crazy because I was a student who never thought I would walk a stage and get handed this diploma. I used to wake up every morning and be scared and say, “Is this all I want for myself? To be bad and get F’s, disappointing my mom and family?”
    One day, I wanted to turn my whole life around and I didn’t know how, but this whole faculty helped me open my eyes. Teachers pulling me outside of the class and saying, “Knock it off. Straighten up,” teachers making you stay after class, talking to you because they know you can do better in class, but we just choose not to.
    These are teachers who open our eyes and make us realize that life is just around the corner. Without these teachers here, I couldn’t be getting this diploma right now. These teachers don’t see us as just a student, they see us as their own; willing to do whatever it took to make sure you get one of these (diplomas).
    I am happy that I got to experience these teachers because they didn’t quit on us when we were stuck on that small campus. They could have left, but no, they stuck in the dirt right with us.
    These teachers are miracle workers because those who know me would say, “Wow, he got his diploma?” but all the teachers deserve this.
    I just want to say, thank you to Mr. Orlowski, Mr. Powell, Mr. Skelton, Ms. Preston, Ms. Barton and Mrs. Morris. Every teacher on this campus helped push me to beyond my limits and a special thank you to Mrs. Musslewhite because without you, most of us couldn’t have done it. We love all you guys here, and with that being said, I am proud to be a Saint! Hands up.
    Anneli Fogt can be reached at AFogt@VVDailyPress.com or 760-951-6276. Follow her on Twitter @DP_anneli_fogt.
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