Fellow:Manuel "Manny" Garmendez
Youngest of 3 brothers born to immigrants from El Salvador in New York. Moved to Florida at 3yrs old and grew up about an hour north of Tampa. Attended Linden High School in Linden, NJ and was one of the first two students to receive an International Baccalaureate degree there. Attended Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers University in New Brunswick before enlisting in the U.S Navy.
Served 9 years as a Nuclear Machinist's Mate completing one sea tour aboard USS Alabama (SSBN-731) as part of the Blue crew from 2010 to 2014 and one shore duty tour at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawai'i. Moved to Germantown, WI in 2017 and worked as an industrial maintenance mechanic for an aseptic dairy for 2 years before going back to school full-time using the GI Bill in 2020.
- International Baccalaureate Graduate
- Former NASA SHARP apprentice (before working for New York City Research Initiative)
- Graduate of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program
- Held SECRET clearance for military duties
- Qualified in Submarine Warfare since 2011; elected Secretary of Crash Dive Base, USSVI in 2020
- Homeowner since 2017
- NFPA 70E certified (as of 2019)
- UW-Milwaukee Honors College student since 2020
- NRA Range Safety Officer certified since 2021