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February 29, 2016

Schooled: One Man’s Journey From the Projects to PhD

Dr. Ryan Ross’ (email) journey from the projects to PhD will show you he transformed through grit, hustle, and the kindness of others. There are a couple things to pay particular attention to in this episode. The first is how Ryan always came up with a third option when faced with two unappealing ones. The second is the sheer amount of effort he puts into helping others.

I believe his stories as a young hustler to now educating kids may help you identify situations where you have two options not so great options to choose from, and need to create a third option to reach your goal.

It’s that third option that can change your life and that of others, but as we’ll hear from Ryan, it takes some creativity, hustle, and the help of good people to make it happen.

Today Ryan’s area of focus is on leadership development and working with students, especially disadvantaged and students of color, and is directly related to his experiences growing up and desire to pay it forward to the community that afforded him so many opportunities.

He’s the first to acknowledge how important mentors were in his life and that’s what fuels him to help others today.

He didn’t wait till some distant point in the future based on having the right amount of time, money, reaching a certain age or milestone in life. No, he is helping people now to transform their lives because he knows first hand the dividends this pays. Just like compounding interest with money, that same concept applies to Ryan giving back.

Ryan’s won numerous awards among which are “Denver’s role Model for Inclusiveness by the Denver Urban Spectrum, 40 under Forty, MLK Humanitarian from Colorado’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, and one of the top 25 Most Influential Young Professionals in Colorado. Most recently Dr. Ross was announced a finalist for the Channel 9 news leader of the year recognition.

I’m proud to introduce you to… Dr. Ryan Ross.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What have you done to help someone today? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…



Selected Links from the Episode
Show Notes
  • What’s the influence for Ryan’s bow-tie look? [3:05]
  • Ryan’s early days and what life was like for him as a kid. [4:15]
  • The experiences that took Ryan out of his “street hustle”. [6:00]
  • The lessons that Ryan learned from his early experiences that still service him today [18:36]
  • Ryan explains the driving force that keeps him from being complacent. [20:02]
  • The age Ryan started paying bills [22:05]
  • How Ryan is fostering his children’s mindset about life. [23:29]
  • How self-talk has shaped Ryan’s life [26:22]
  • Life after High School for Ryan [28:12]
  • Ryan’s outlook on giving back and why it’s important. [32:16]
  • An amazing, but often overlooked way to network and build relationships. [34:39]
  • Homeless after college?  [40:00]
  • Ryan’s first job after college. [44:48]
  • How Ryan lands his next job, wearing a tank top and gym shorts. [46:48]
  • What inspired Ryan to pursue his P.H.D.  [51:35]
  • Ryan’s current Role at CCD [55:25]
  • The reoccurring messages Ryan uses to encourage to students. [59:56]
  • How Ryan prioritizes how he spends his time. [1:01:16]
  • Ryan’s take on the culture of giving in Denver. [1:11:01]
  • Rapid Fire questions [1:13:55]
  • Ryan Ross’s one two things he wanted to leave with the listeners. [1:21:05]
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