Service is a big part of Annie Rose Ramos’ family.
It all started with her father, who served in the United States Air Force. Being the youngest of five children, she watched her brother John serve in the U.S. Navy Reserves and her brother Jason become a firefighter.
After graduating from Santa Clara University, Annie Rose wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do, but she knew she wanted to serve while seeing the world.
She decided to join the Peace Corps, which sent her to the small town of Mmanoko in Botswana in Southern Africa. She spent two years teaching local children within the tiny rural village.
The Pasadena native’s life changed when tragedy struck.
“I don’t think it changed me until one of my students passed away. Catherine was 13 years old when she died of AIDS and in that culture, teachers are revered. They are oftentimes asked to carry the coffins,” she explained somberly.
That loss led her to have a major realization.
“I remember carrying Catherine’s coffin – I couldn’t leave her. She was this beautiful young child taken too soon and I thought ‘Who would tell her story?’ I think I made up my mind standing over her simple grave, at that moment, that I wanted to be a storyteller,” she said fighting back tears.
Once her time with the organization was over, she enrolled straight into New York University to pursue a masters degree in journalism.
Upon graduation, she got a job at CNN, then went to NBC News. In November 2022, she landed right here at KTLA.
“KTLA is the channel I grew up watching,” she exclaimed.
Annie Rose and her family have deep roots in Los Angeles.
Growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, she and her family would take tiny trips checking out all the Southland has to offer.
“In a family of seven, we just didn’t have that much money to go on trips abroad or even trips out of the state, so what we did on the weekends was explore Los Angeles,” she revealed.
She touted her parents as being the best tour guides as they too grew up in L.A.
“For them, it wasn’t just about showing us L.A., it was about sharing the best parts this city has to offer.”
Those family excursions would often take place at the famed Olvera Street for a snack and impromptu entertainment.
“Being Mexican-American, so much of our culture has to do with family and food, and Olvera Street has all of that. You can sit there and be serenaded by a mariachi band and have a very large margarita in your hand, and enjoy taquitos and tacos and that is what we did,” she said. “Every part of our family’s life we celebrated it on Olvera Street.”
Her family’s favorite is Cielito Lindo for their taquitos.
“Part of our family’s tradition is celebrating something with a taquito in hand.”
Looking back at her journey back home, Annie Rose believes she’s found how she can serve indefinitely.
“I’ve always looked at journalism as a public service. Every community deserves journalism, deserves the news, to hear the free and unfettered flow of information and that is what I want to do every single day,” she explained. “I get to do it every day with a channel I grew up watching, KTLA, and one that I love.”
“My mom says there’s no place like L.A. and there’s no place like home.”
My Very Own Story series will air Thursdays at 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m.
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