Meet Gabriela Ramos

Meet Gabriela Ramos

Gabriela and her parents, sisters, brothers, niece, nephews and dog together on Christmas Eve

One of Gabriela Ramos’ philosophies is that, in life, it takes a village. She’s found that to be true in her personal life growing up in Yakima Valley with her mom, three siblings, aunts, and cousins and in her work life where she thrives when she’s building relationships with and advocating for people in her community. Gabriela has lived in Selah for the past five years but also spent time living in Union Gap and Grandview, so she considers the entire Yakima Valley her home.

“I’m very family oriented. When someone asks me, ‘What do you do?’ I tell them, ‘I hang out with my family.’ Whatever it is, I’m with my family.” Today that family also includes her stepdad, younger brother, nephews, and niece.

After earning her degree in Spanish with a minor in journalism from Western Washington University, Gabriela was motivated to bring her skills back to the Valley. “I really wanted to come back home and use my knowledge here, in the community that brought me up.” While she initially pursued a career in journalism, working for El Sol De Yakima and The Daily Record, she ultimately realized journalism was not her path. She was seeking a field where she could work directly with her community to connect people facing adversity to local resources.

Gabriela took her love of writing to the nonprofit sector. She carved out a path working with young people, including at Planned Parenthood, where she facilitated the Youth Empowerment Program, and at Community Health of Central Washington, where she managed the school-based health program.

At each organization, Gabriela advocated for adolescents’ access to health care and their rights to confidential services. One of her proudest accomplishments was creating a safe space for adolescents to seek care and build self-efficacy. “We needed to foster long lasting and trusting relationships with the communities we serve to create a better relationship with health care in general, and that needs to start at a younger age.”

She reflects, “Working with youth in the Valley has been such a big and rewarding part of my life. Teens already face so many barriers in seeking health care. I focused on trying to change that and establishing an accessible program. In my transition to Group Health Foundation, I want to see how I can help make a difference on a larger scale.”

As a program associate on the learning and community engagement team, Gabriela will have the chance to do just that, by getting to know organizations and communities new to GHF and by researching to understand community needs across the state. She’s excited to be part of a team of people committed to the same values she holds and to creating change over time. Besides her people skills and passion for advocacy, Gabriela says she’s bringing with her a keen attention to and love for details—a vestige of her time in journalism. “I like organizing stuff, expanding programs and workflows, developing strategic plans for organizational goals. The details are big for me.”