A CEO Character Sketch Report
by Rebecca Yohannes – Regis University
Note: A Character Sketch relates to a student’s direct contact with a fellow volunteer, a supervisor, a Client served by CEO or anyone who the student has gotten to know as a result of the student’s placement in the program. Students are requested to offer as detailed and complete a portrait as possible within the bounds of direct contact and knowledge. Regis Students in 2014 and 2015 submitted reports in three categories to fulfill their academic class requirements
“Michael Ryan, an educator, and a leader, is one of the inspiring supervisors at the RECC. Michael is energetic, compassionate, knowledgeable and ambitious. Michael is a rare human being to come across; he is always full of life – one that never keeps the room dull with his inspiring, yet humorous stories. He attains a kind of knowledge that extends for miles on end. Whether he shares his stories about his military experience, camping advice, or his insights on worldly affairs, one can learn many lessons about their own life just by listening to what he has to say. Michael has many talents, however his interpersonal skills are incredible. Michael can relate to people with minimal effort – he treats everyone as an equal, whether it’s his clients, co-workers, or volunteers, it is easy to find common ground with Michael, which contributes in building a strong relationship with him.
Michael is an Irish man from Buffalo, New York. He grew up in a rough area, where it is seen to be a great accomplishment to get out of the neighborhood. Michael has many past experiences that has contributed to the person he is today, however his previous teaching experiences contributes to why he is at the RECC and what he does there. Michael began his teaching career as a substitute teacher at Valley High school, a small rural high school, with a variety of people who attained a strong agricultural interest.
Although Michael specialized in English, History and Special Education he had to teach several other subjects as a substitute teacher. Ultimately, Michael’s goal was to become a full time teacher, and he achieved that goal when he got a full time position at an alternative school in Brighton, CO. Michael had to work with children who had behavioral issues, but were given a second chance to succeed with their education. This experience taught him a lot more about patience, and classroom management. Unfortunately Michael was just three years away from reaching his tenure, and due to budget cuts he was laid off from his position. After being laid off, Michael decided to go to graduate school and specialize in adult education. When Michael finished graduate school, some friends of his referred him to the RECC, and a simple visit turned into a career.
Michael faces several challenges at the RECC, one of the recent challenges being the new 2014 GED test; this test places a strong emphasis on critical thinking, which doesn’t come naturally for some, and is a skill that can take several years to acquire. Michael’s challenge is to teach others how to infer and identify inference. Michael is most concerned about his clients, and he genuinely cares about their success. Michael constantly worries about the group of people who will not get their GED – he believes that the doors will be closed for them and is frustrated when sees instability and the downfall of his clients, especially when they are becoming successful. Not only does the 2014 GED pose a challenge for Michael, but also there are several threats posed at the RECC.
Real estate is a commodity, and the RECC faces the threat of their real estate to be taken away from them, due to the idea of having more parole officer offices in their space. Job stability is also a concern for Michael. There is a constant threat of the RECC personnel being laid off, however Michael believes that the threat of being laid off causes employees to constantly stay sharp in their work, and preform to their best ability. Michal eventually hopes to go back to school and become a college professor, however he “doesn’t know how he could possibly leave the RECC”. Michael is an ambitious being, well involved in his work, and has an immense passion for what he does at the RECC. Michael wants his clients to be successful, and he will do anything he can in order to ensure that they achieve that success.”