The SJA Alumnae Association presented Citlali Mendieta-Ramos, '97, with the 2017 Alumna of the Year award at their third annual Alumnae Brunch on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. The Alumna of the Year award recognizes the outstanding contributions of an SJA alumna to her profession and/or community which support the mission of SJA.
Mendieta-Ramos, along with husband Nicolas Ramos, is the owner of Antigua Latin Inspired Kitchen. Mendieta-Ramos opened Antigua more than 10 years ago and has grown the restaurant to include full service offsite catering and cooking classes. She is a community leader, taking active roles on various board of director positions. Mendieta-Ramos has received numerous awards for her many contributions to the community including the Milwaukee Business Journal's 40 under 40 award, being named Restauranteur of the Year, and was the West Allis Citizen of the Year.
Mendieta-Ramos and her family also consistently support SJA and its students. Their contributions include, but are not limited to, volunteering for Spaghetti with the Sisters and providing catering for many SJA events including the 2017 Auction. Additionally, Mendieta-Ramos was the 2016 Senior Luncheon speaker, sharing her entrepreneurial advice with the graduating Seniors.
"My mom worked incredibly hard, long hours to pay the tuition here to make sure I could attend SJA and get the best education possible. A foundation to life is your education," Mendieta-Ramos told the crowd as she dedicated her award to her mom and her two children.
Hosted by the SJA Alumnae Association, a record-75 alumnae, Sisters and friends joined in the celebration of Mendieta-Ramos and one another at the third annual brunch held in the school's cafeteria. With the unusually warm September temperatures it was a throwback for many of the alums to those first few weeks of school when they had to enjoy the halls and cafeteria of SJA with no air conditioning!
In addition to brunch and an opportunity to reunite with past friends and make new, this year a roaming tour of the school was added where each graduate received an "SJA Passport" in which they had to collect stamps at stations set up throughout the school. Each station featured current SJA students or alumnae volunteers who shared current news of SJA's educational programs in addition to ways alumnae can become involved with the school.
The Alumna of the Year Award and Alumnae Brunch are just two of the many ways the SJA Alumnae Association works to reconnect alumnae and provide meaningful ways to benefit the school and the students whom SJA serves. Alumnae are welcomed to participate in any capacity they are able. For more information or to get involved, please contact us at (414) 274-4728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
View event photos here.