GET TO KNOW GARFIELD
I am a military veteran, former Olympic hopeful, licensed Colorado school teacher, entrepreneur, long-time area resident with strong leadership skills who will work with my colleagues and constituents to implement effective policy solutions throughout House District 15.
My early life experiences forged my resiliency and determination and taught me the importance of budgeting and working efficiently. My earliest childhood memories are of accompanying my grandfather to his small farm in the Bahamas where he worked as an indentured servant. As a young child, I spent hours watching him toil in the fields, eking out a living. As a teenager, I helped my grandfather by setting up fruit displays, waiting on customers, and even balancing the books. My grandfather showed me the meaning of resilience. My early experiences on his farm taught me the importance of getting a good education in order to build a better life for myself and my family. I set a goal of going to college in the United States. I arrived in the U.S. as a young man with nothing but $50 in my pocket and aspiration in my heart.
Athleticism and success in judo competitions earned me a spot in the Olympic training camp for judo and brought me to the beautiful state of Colorado. I trained in Colorado Springs, Colorado from 1993 to 2007. Although I never made it to the Olympics, my years of training instilled strong sense of determination and finely honed self-discipline. While training for the Olympics, I attended the University of Colorado, receiving my Bachelor’s degree in political science in 1997. I subsequently went on to attain my Master of Arts in Political Science in 2002, Criminal Justice in 2004, and Public Administration in 2007.
After leaving the sport of judo in 2007, I enlisted in the United States Army until February 2011. I Served as a liaison between military command and private governments in various worldwide locations in Southwest Asia and the Middle East. In addition, I led a multi-disciplinary team and received the prestigious Valorous Unit Award and the Red Cross distinguished cross conferred for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy of the United States. After completing my active duty service, I enlisted in the Army Reserve.
I also served as a civilian advisor and contractor for the Department of Defense in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. Following military draw-down in the region, I returned to Colorado as a disabled veteran and started a drone company specializing in aerial surveillance and photography.
Following my military service, I built my career in education. I have a Colorado Teaching license with certifications in Social Studies and Special Education. I have taught in Colorado middle and high schools, including schools providing alternative education for at-risk youth. Recent teaching experience includes working as a special education teacher and as an online teacher. In conjunction with my teaching activities, I have also served as a coach and a tutor and been active as an educational leader in many different settings. I have a strong commitment to education and to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn and succeed. As part of my commitment to education, I have also continued to pursue my own advanced education. In 2019, I attained my Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership from Creighton University.
The Colorado Springs area has been my home for over two decades. I live and work here and have contributed to my community through my teaching, volunteer service, and coaching activities. As a strong leader and as someone who not only believes in but acts on the principles of servant leadership, I know that the State Representative position will enable me to make direct contributions to the community.
I believe in sensible spending and I pledge to reflect the values and priorities of our community in addressing HD15' concerns that include water, land use, and the allocation of policing.