Seventeen‑year‑old Ryan showed his determination to help change perceptions of hearing loss at a young age. In elementary school, Ryan asked his teacher to play a song, "Don't laugh at me”, as a reminder that even though students may be different from one another, we should treat them all the same. He also wrote “Billy the Bully Stomper”, a story about a bug who is bullied for wearing hearing aids, to help his classmates better understand the challenges of hearing loss. A scholar athlete and role model throughout his schooling, Ryan has played baseball and football, advocating for himself with coaches and referees/umpires. Following a knee injury, the team recognized Ryan’s leadership skills and appointed him honorary offensive line coach.