Passionate about creating resilience in future generations

Growing up in poverty and breaking the cycle wasn't an easy task. I've watched students and adults struggle with their past and I want to cultivate resilience at an early age.


I am a first generation high school and college graduate.  After graduating Ball High School in Galveston, Texas, I joined the US Army as a generator mechanic. I remember sitting in a class and a recruiter coming in to talk to us, it was at that moment I thought this is the way out. I signed up and was shipped out two weeks after graduation. Unfortunately old habit die hard and it wasn't long before I had found myself in a bit of trouble, I was demoted to the lowest rank and was near giving up, getting out, and going home. Something in me sparked and within one year I was being promoted to Sergeant, 5 ranks above the demotion I had received. That bounce back, my resilience was key to overcoming what I had done and moving forward to be my best self. 

At that time I had also gotten married, 19 years old, living in Germany, and we had a baby on the way. My wife of two weeks was sent to Fort Campbell, Kentucky and I was deployed to Saudi Arabia. I arrived to be by her side during the birth approximately five hours before our son was born and I left 30 days later. For the first six years of our marriage we spent only two and a half of it living under the same roof. Tough times on any marriage, let alone two kids from divorced families with a child. 

I was in Iraq working as an Army Contractor on drones when my wife called to tell me she was pregnant with our second child. This time when I went home for the birth of my daughter, I didn't go back. We hunkered down working for a family business and I started classes at Weber State University. Unsure of exactly what I wanted to do, I opted for a Bachelor’s of Integrated Studies in Communications, Child and Family Studies and Military Science, and Minored in Social Work. While I wasn't quite sure of the words at that time, I had broken a cycle. I had been the first to graduate high school and now I was the first to go to college. Graduating felt like I had moved a mountain and when they pinned that captain rank on my chest I thought, wow, this is a far cry from the demoted private I was just 13 years ago. I started working for Child Protective Services as a Social Worker and from there I saw children who were fighters, they were resilient. I started to ask myself, can this be taught? I enrolled in Boston University and started my graduate degree in social work. 


During this time I was still serving in the Army Reserves and was sent to Master Resilience Trainer training. I started working for school districts and have served as a school social worker and was part of a gang Taskforce, a behavior specialist, and as a social and emotional learning specialist. In these rolls I have received training from the Why Try Training Center, as well as . 


I am dedicated to cultivating Resilience in everyone I come into contact with.  The core values Island Resilience utilizes to provide the best service is competence, growth and motivation.  Along with providing Resilience training to deploying and redeploying Soldiers I have had the opportunity to give other adults the necessary skills to build relationships with kids. 

  • Masters of Social Work, Boston University

  • Bachelors of Integrated Studies, Weber State University.

  • Minor in Social Work, Weber State University.

  • Master Resilience Trainer - US Army

  • Why Try 

  • CROSS Training/Gang Related Interventions