Ryan is from the small town of Kettle Falls, Washington. One of his parents graduated from high school, the other did not. He is the first of his family to attend college. Ryan chose to pursue his BA in sociology and experienced bouts of anxiety in his first year. “The learning curve for me was steep,” Ryan admits. College began to click for him when he realized learning was not about having a set of right answers, but engaging in process. A process he embraced successfully and could see himself helping others to succeed at as well.
Ryan works as a GEAR UP coordinator at Shaw Middle School. This is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education aimed at increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Ryan is strongly optimistic about the future and is gaining the skills necessary to engage in positive policy change.
Ryan plans to stay in Spokane and work to eradicate some of the neighborhood-to-neighborhood inequalities that can adversely affect quality of life, including successful school performance. Ryan is particularly drawn to community engagement and feels it is one of his strengths.