I was born in Brooklyn (Crown Heights) and raised in Queens (Corona/South Ozone). Born to Dominican parents who were divorced by time I was 4. I was raised by a Dominican mother and a Nuyorican father who have always valued familia and learning.
I graduated from high school at 16 with an understanding that I would go to college but with no clear idea about where or why. As a first generation to go to a four year college, I attended Brooklyn College for two years before traversing on a journey to answer the age-old adolescent question- “who I am I if I am not my parents”. The quest took me north to SUNY New Paltz. There I majored in Black Studies, became an RA, all the while fulfilling my hereditary obligation to play shortstop on the school baseball team.
While at New Paltz I met my future wife (Evelyn Velazquez) and we were married soon after graduating in 1994. By 2001 we had added 4 children (Sara, Jose, Isabel and Mateo) to the family. During this time we moved from New Paltz, to Hartwick College, to Boston College (where I did my MA), to the University of Miami, to NYU and finally to Vassar College (where I am the Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Res. Life). I am a Doctoral Candidate at the University at Albany’s Educational Administration and Policy Studies program. My research and teaching interest include sports, rap music and the educational plight of young men.