At 10 years old the human brain is like a sponge. We soak in our surroundings and in turn become fascinated with all the world has to offer. We begin to form associations, we build interests, and in turn how we manifest what we’ve absorbed is essentially what builds little boys into men, and things were no different for Lowrider Roll Model Carlos Ramirez, a counselor and community activist.

Looking back, Carlos remembers watching his neighbors across the street working on cars. He found interest in the constant clanking and modification of their cars and as the current owner of a 1964 Impala SS with gold-plated accessories, Carlos can easily say that his influence was literally a stone’s throw away.

Born in Northern California in the town of Tracy, his parents eventually moved the family to Stockton to keep him from getting in trouble. As the eldest of two brothers, his parents were hard working harvesters who picked at local agricultural fields. When he became of age he joined his parents in the field, and while he’d be the first to admit that the first three days were fun, the days to follow were enough to make him find a new level of appreciation and respect for his parents, and it also became the drive for him to work that much harder. In the ensuing years, his education took center stage and soon he found himself the recipient of a criminal justice degree from California State University, Stanislaus.

Before graduating though, he began an internship to become a probation officer and it was during that informative time that he came to the realization that a badge and cuffs would have kept him at a distance with the very youth he promised to serve, so he let the job go and became a counselor for troubled youth. The move is one that worked like a charm and he hasn’t looked back. His ability to identify and connect with troubled youth is a gift, while his roots in lowriding offers his students something they can talk about. In all, he believes that his job as an educator and counselor have taught him the value in correcting problems before they get to a probationary state, and as the current program manager for services, he continues to provide help to students and families with issues in his own community while connecting them to a lifestyle that he holds dear to his heart.