I’m Rony.

I was born on April 19, 1995 in Milford, Delaware to immigrant parents who came to the United States seeking a better life – a life in which they would no longer be bound to the ruthless cycle of poverty and limited freedoms they had in their home countries. I also have two younger siblings who mean the world to me.

As a first-generation Latino, navigating two cultures, two languages, and the way of life in America was daunting. My parents’ limited knowledge of the country proved to be a hardship in my upbringing but the experiences that made my childhood different have shaped my views and character.

I was raised in Milford and attended Milford School District public schools until I graduated in 2013 from Milford High School. I went on to attend the University of Delaware, first through its Associate in Arts Program and then graduating from main campus in 2017 with a B.A. in political science.

Despite not fully knowing what I wanted to do after undergrad, I went on to work at the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) at its Delaware chapter serving as the Hispanic Programs Coordinator. In my first white-collar job, I expanded NAMI Delaware’s outreach to Delaware’s Hispanic community ensuring that Hispanic Delawareans, the fastest growing population in the state, were receiving the resources and information to seek mental help – a highly stigmatized phenomenon in Hispanic culture.

After my brief tenure at NAMI, I went on to work two years in the United States Senate for U.S. Senator Tom Carper. As a staff assistant and then legislative correspondent, I got first-hand experience of the federal governmental process and met plenty of high-ranking officials from Ivanka Trump to then-Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rosselló.

Leaving Washington, D.C. was painful but I returned to Delaware to enroll at Delaware Law School. After a semester at Delaware Law, I realized that becoming an attorney wasn’t my objective, at least not at the time. Ironically enough, I landed in a position in the Office of the Delaware Attorney General as her public information officer and served there until 2021.

In the midst of returning to Delaware, I was appointed to the Milford School Board of Education to serve a vacancy for one year becoming the first Latino and youngest person to serve on the Board. Subsequently, in 2020 during the worldwide pandemic, I ran to retain my seat and won with 57 percent of the vote. In that same year, I became the Vice President of the Board.

Through my diverse experiences both professionally and personally, I am now 26 years old and currently working at the Delaware Department of State as the Director of Policy & Communications.

My personal mission statement is to use my personal experiences as a first-generation American and my professional experiences as a public servant to continue addressing systemic and bureaucratic challenges that prevent government from working for all. I hope to become an instrument of positive change to inspire young and diverse community members to become part of the political and governmental processes to ensure that government continues to reflect and represent the needs of increasingly diverse communities.