In order to fully understand why Ryan Myers is running for the Sugarland Run District seat on the School Board, he needed to start from the beginning.
Myers grew up in the public-school system of Rocky Mountain, N.C. Up until the fifth grade, his teachers dubbed him lazy. Until one teacher, his sixth-grade teacher Ms. Parker changed his life.
Parker fought to give Myers a verbal IQ test, which he scored well on. After that, a series of tests revealed Myers was dyslexic.
"My fifth-grade teacher said I was lazy. My sixth-grade teacher said something was wrong," he said. "Ms. Parker changed my life."
After the diagnosis, Myers excelled in school and in life.
"If anyone cares about the public-school system, I care about the public-school system," he said. "I’m a public-school kid.
WHILE MYERS was a student at Howard University, he helped found the National Urban League’s Washington, D.C., chapter.
After graduation, Myers moved to California to serve as branch manager of Woodbury Financial Services. While there, he served as president of the National Urban League’s Los Angeles chapter and in 2002 was elected president of the National Urban League Young Professionals.
According to the National Urban League Web site, "Myers’ tenure marked a period of significant growth and expansion as the [National Urban League Young Professionals] movement exploded, adding almost 30 new YP chapters to the organization."
When Meyers moved to the county, he joined the Northern Virginia Urban League and now serves on the board of directors.
The Northern Virginia Urban League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social network, MORE
Lavern Chatman, CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League, said Myers is an engaged board member.
Myers teaches approximately 75 professionals between the ages of 20 and 30 how to develop their careers and give back to their communities through fund raising and networking skills.
For example, members teach financial literacy classes to elementary-school students, work with children whose parents are incarcerated and help rebuild senior citizens’ homes.
In order to run the programs, Myers taught the members how to fund raise to get money for these programs.
"He is a team builder, he is a cheerleader and he thinks outside the box," Chatman said. "He is always pushing the envelope."
Since Meyers joined the organization, he has updated its Web site to be more interactive and informative, and developed a partnership with Enterprise Rent-a-Car. When young professionals join the Northern Virginia Urban League, they are eligible for discounts at the car-rental service.
"He has the energy, the drive and the commitment and a proven record of community service," she sad.
SINCE MYERS MOVED to the county in 2005, he has been a member of the Loudoun County Democrats.
Tom Beres, chairman of the organization, said Myers is an active member of the organization and is always willing to lend a hand.
"He’s young, he’s energetic, he’s a new dad," Beres said. "He’s got a vision for the future."
One of Myers biggest contributions to the Loudoun County Democrats is his business background, outreach and fund-raising abilities. Beres said Myers business mind would be an asset to the School Board.
"He brings in a lot of good ideas from his experiences in the business world and in education," he said. "And he understands the needs of special-needs students."
MYERS SAID he could have moved anywhere in the country, but he chose Loudoun County because of the school system.
Even though Myers does not have any children in the school system now, his son, Ryan, 3, and daughter, Reagan, 6 weeks, will soon enroll in the public-school system.
"I’m here for the next 18 years," he said.
Over the course of the election, Myers said he will focus on the most pressing issues that his district faces.
Sugarland Run is located in the older part of the county and Myers is concerned about keeping the schools up to Loudoun County Public Schools standards.
"We have to continue to fight to make sure we are getting what everybody else is getting," he said.
In addition to school improvements, Myers would like to look into ways to attract the best teachers.
"It’s not just about money," he said. "It’s about incentives. We need to give them incentives to stay here so we can grow from within."
Myers will face Joseph Guzman (Sugarland Run) and Steve Hammond at the polls Nov. 7.