Enriching the lives of the local community and performing Civic Service really didn’t resonate with me as a Seventh Grader. In all honesty, I just wanted a place to skateboard with my friends. Joining and Eventually becoming chairman of the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Center Teen Youth Committee, I found my calling as a leader. Four years after joining, I held my first job as Skate Park Attendant at the newly opened RJKCC. Instilling in me that moment, the positive outcomes of civic service. In addition my life has revolved equally as much around aquatics. I have had played many different roles both in and out of the water. From being a coach, to a lifeguard, to gaining international experience through playing Water Polo professionally, I have always strived to be a team player that relies on strong communication skills to solve any type of unforeseen issue.
As a water polo player I played club water polo for San Diego Shores and won the Junior Olympic Championship in 2002 and was Player of the Year for the boys 16U division. In high school water polo I was a four-time All-American playing for the University of San Diego High School (now Cathedral Catholic) As a sophomore I placed 2nd in San Diego County CIF in the 100yd freestyle (48.3s) and 3rd place in the 200yd freestyle (1:44.1s) in addition, I was a two-time member of the USA National Youth Water Polo Team under head coach Matt Anderson (2002-2004) and while traveling abroad to Santos Brazil, I helped the US place 3rd in the international contest being held there. After accepting a scholarship to play water polo at the University of Southern California, I (as a true freshman scoring 26 goals) received the Freshman of the Year award from head coach Jovan Vavic. During my time at USC I was a member of the United States Junior National team under head coach Doug Peabody (2004-2005) playing international contests in Italy, Hungary, and El Salvador. Winning a gold medal in the 2004 Pan American Games in the El Salvador in 2004.
To make a living while in school I held a lifeguard position for the Adaptive Aquatics courses at Grossmont College and, in addition to help pay my tuition, was instrumental in helping me realize my calling in life. I decided to focus on Sociology and Anthropology and after another transfer (Whittier College) I received my BA in both disciplines.
Upon graduation from Whittier College in 2010, I was presented with the opportunity to further my water polo career by playing professionally for SV Poseidon, a team located in Hamburg, Germany. A successful season in Hamburg (49 goals) led Botafogo, a team in Rio de Janiero, to offer me a contract to play for them in their National League. After two seasons of playing professional Water Polo and lots of traveling I decided to reevaluate my career path. In addition to being homesick, I also had a feeling that I was being selfish in this pursuit, I wanted to help people the way I helped them when I was a lifeguard. I turned down multiple offers to continue playing professionally to come back home and use my degrees.
Back in San Diego I began working as a Behavioral Therapist for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (C.A.R.D) and focused more on working with individuals with Disabilities, (specifically individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder) helping them with their communication and problem solving skills, ones I exhibited in previous professional positions. Still working for C.A.R.D I Transferred to the Sacramento Office to also hold the title of JV head coach for Jesuit High School in Sacramento California. During this time I became very interested in pursuing the relationship between physical exercise and compliance, I wrote an essay, which eventually was submitted to CSU Chico where I later earned an MA in Kinesiology with a focus on adaptive sport (Cumulative 3.29 GPA). While at Chico State I was a part of a large number of on campus activities revolving around the Adaptive Physical Education Program. Helping organize and volunteer during the annual APE Sports Day with faculty member Marci Pope was truly an amazing experience. I also was a part of the Autism Teen Clinic, which is a weekly program for students aged 12-18 to come in and learn about exercise routines and healthy nutrition information. I also taught the INSPIRE teens, which are a select group of students from Chico High School. These teenagers came in twice a week for lessons designed by CSU Chico Students and were facilitated by myself and other volunteers. Lessons I personally planned and taught included Spikeball and Rollerblading.
I have found a great sense of who I am through sport and education. I hope to continue my duties in life by shaping individuals and helping mold the future generations in the educational system today. I have realized through my education and teaching experience that I possess strong motivational skills and, as a result, have always implemented strong goals within the affective domain of Student learning objectives. I believe that the process is greater than the product and have witnessed the effect of great teaching as well as coaching. I believe one cannot be a great coach without being a great teacher