Ryan Lopez

My name is Ryan Lopez. I am an ethnic studies major at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). I am also an elite athlete competing for the USA boxing team and have trained and competed in other combat sports such as wrestling, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well.

I work as a lifeguard and swim instructor in Brooklyn. I am a very motivated and dedicated individual. I’m chasing all-time highs inspired by all-time lows. My lows were very low. I grew up at the bottom. I had zero self-esteem, zero self-worth, no hope, and no plans for the future.

My goal was literally to become a big-time gangsta like Paulie from GoodFellas. I wanted the respect and status the guys I looked up to had. That was what I was surrounded by in the streets for many years. Gang members were my role models.