In June 2014, Nicholas (“Nick”) Ramundo began his term as the Maryland-DC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). In a very short time, Nick touched the hearts and impacted the lives of countless people. Nick’s year of service was dedicated to the Arbutus Achievers after school program designed to support at-risk students and their families. Nick focused on the sustainability, working with the Shriver Living Learning Community (SLLC) to establish a pipeline for student leadership and development, ensuring the success of the program. Arbutus Achievers still continues, led by the leadership team and structure that Nick created.
As a former Bonner Scholar, Nick embodied the principles of service-learning, as evidenced through his contributions to SUCCESS, a program focused on enhancing independent living and employability skills for young adults with intellectual disabilities. He served in the Friends of SUCCESS House as a friend, guide, and mentor. It was on March 27th, 2015, that Nick passed away unexpectedly, the evening before the 8th Annual Service-Learning & Civic Engagement Conference at American University.
Nick was an exceptional young man who loved life to the fullest. His smile was contagious, his heart genuine, and everyone he met quickly called Nick a friend. He encouraged us to think beyond ourselves and to dream beyond the status quo. Nick radiated light and laughter wherever he went and he will be dearly missed. He loved fully and cared deeply, never wasting an opportunity to connect with another.
This week, Shriver Center Staff and members of our 2014-15 SLLC community are thinking about Nick. He lives on in all of us.