What do an unconventional legal education, a Parisian renaissance, the 44th President of the United States, and a 19th century emperor all have in common?
In Spring 2008, while Ricky was still a seventeen-year old West Boca Raton Community High School student, the University of Central Florida rejected his college application.
In 2012, Ricky graduated PBAU with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Communications, after which he began working for the newly-elected State Representative Bobby Powell as his Junior District Secretary, serving House District 88.
In 2013, Marquette University Law School wait-listed him, along with North Carolina and a few other institutions. In May 2014, after completing his first full year at St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, Florida, he was then accepted into their Sports Administration M.B.A. program.
In the Fall of 2014, Ricky earned the CALI Award for Sports Law, a distinction given to the highest-performing student in a particular class for that semester.
In September 2015, the Miami HEAT offered him an internship in their Business Communications Department. He accepted, and began working with the team on TIPOFF Magazine, even writing articles from time to time. Then, something incredible happened.
In December 2015, Ricky was invited to join the White House Internship Program under President Barack Obama. He happily accepted, and went on to work in the Executive Office of the President, serving his country in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Working at The White House, Ricky was able to create and coordinate opportunities for direct dialogue between the Obama Administration and the American public by working with senior staff to build relationships with various communities through outreach, in-house events, and various community stakeholder meetings. This experience, without question, changed Ricky's life forever, and opened his eyes.
And then came Paris.
Midway through 2016, Cornell Law School accepted his application to study in their Paris Summer Institute–for the second summer in a row. A third Paris semester would come in 2017, and he is forever indebted to that program for the opportunities it gave him to grow.
Shortly after completing his third summer semester with Cornell at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris, Ricky began to see the finish line for his Juris Doctor and Master of Science in Sports Administration.
Upon completing his last semester, Ricky picked up where he left off in 2013, returning to the District Office of State Senator Bobby Powell to serve as his Legislative Aide, understanding that his time would be best served in serving his community.
Now a law school graduate, Ricky intends to seek a Ph.D. degree and complete his academic career once and for all.
In addition to beginning a unique spiritual, civic, and personal journey, 2021 will have significant implications for the future. There remains so much more to build, much more to believe, and much to plan for in the weeks, months, and years to come, starting with the aforementioned year.
Ricky has always believed God works in mysterious ways, and the idea of a kid from Boca Raton, Florida having attained White House, professional sports, and international experience before his thirtieth birthday is one that brings pride to his parents.
Amazingly, Ricky's journey began with what many have historically viewed as an end—the University of Central Florida rejecting his college application in the spring of 2008.
It all began with someone responding to Ricky's aspirations with a letter of rejection; someone thinking he didn't belong, that he was not good enough. It was not the first time, nor will it be the last in this life.
One event—that one—was what changed Ricky's life forever, and, though he did not realize it at the time, it would be for the best—not just for him, but for his family, his community, and perhaps, his country.
The future is, indeed, bright.
It was this collective experience that showed Ricky that, more than anything, we are in this together.
It was what showed him that we all have a duty to make this world a better place than the one we were born into.
It was what made Ricky develop a vision for our community—and the world we all share as one. So Ricky sat down, grabbed a pen and paper, and decided to establish his vision.