Ryan was born and raised in Vernon BC and from the outset of his life, he faced uphill challenges. Born with a cleft lip and cleft palate, Ryan required half a dozen surgeries between two months old and sixteen years. The resulting surgeries meant Ryan needed to undergo speech therapy for several years in elementary school. While not nearly as complicated as some issues children and youth face, the facial reconstruction and therapy meant Ryan developed a deep sense of empathy for those who experienced childhood trauma and who were seen as “different” by their peers.
Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Geography from UBC – Okanagan in 2007, Ryan joined his partner Stephanie in travelling to Asia, where they lived and taught English for four years.
Since early 2017 Ryan embarked on a new path as a public activist and advocate on mental health issues. Ryan shared his own lived experiences of struggling with depression, anxiety, panic disorder and a near suicide attempt at the age of 22. Ryan decided he needed to take his experiences and make them public in order to break down the stigma of mental illness.
As a School Trustee, Ryan will work tirelessly to ensure transparency and accountability are at the forefront of how the Board and the District operate, and he will work hard to advance issues of local, regional, and provincial interest, in order to ensure that students receive the best quality education they can.
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