I grew up in a multigenerational home. My family has always been close, either down the street or in the same house. With a ton of siblings and cousins around all the time, it was easy for me to get the message my father taught me, “There is no higher calling than taking care of your family and community”. School never seemed like a “good” place to me. Many of the people I knew sold or took drugs in high school and many dropped out and/or went to jail. I knew these weren’t paths I wanted to take, so I joined the Army at 17 years old.

While serving, I held many different positions and jobs. I quickly realized leadership was a quality that propelled me to higher ranks and more responsibility. I found myself a special operations team leader in the Middle East. My time in the military taught me that a sense of community and family are universal throughout the world. All people want to work and make a living wage. They want to come home and eat dinner with their families, then go to sleep safe in their beds. That same sentiment was reflected in my military family. We never cared about our political, religious, national, or language differences. We were just brothers and sisters in arms.

I have studied at the university throughout my adult life. My degrees are in liberal arts, business administration, leadership, and diversity. With my education and experience, I developed a greater understanding of what it is to be an American. I realized that our representatives should truly represent us. After the Army, I worked in various industries including banking, fast food, coffee shops, government contractors, and volunteer opportunities. I came to appreciate the diversity of our community. I knew that taking this knowledge and experience to the state legislature to truly represent everyone in law-making regardless of the political parties or national agendas. I am now running for all of us to bring the issues that affect us to the conversation rather than just what the current representatives tell us are issues. As a husband and father, it’s important for me to give my family a sense of security in knowing that the government we allow to represent us is doing what our community demands.