Raymond Pryor, IV

Hometown: Aurora, CO

high school: East High School

college: Duke University

MAJOR: Public Policy

Coming into a huge inner-city public high school as a three-sport childhood athlete and avid sports fan, Ray Pryor had one mission: ball out! And from his first day until his last, he did, as a football, basketball, and baseball player. Yet, with a gruesome femur fracture, a terrified and worried mother, and a lack of height growth above six-foot as he had been praying would happen, Ray woke up from his dream of playing collegiate sports and realized that his natural affinity to do well in school would have to serve as his vehicle to the same destination that sports were supposed to take him. As an upperclassman, he began to understand that his scholastic abilities and intellectual curiosities would take him further than athletics ever could.

Ray knew he had a vague interest in law, politics, and government, and while rolling around in his wheelchair, he met his Colorado State Representative for whom he would work for the next three years. Ray finally shared his shower-singing talents with the school choir and sang bass for two years (even though for a few months he could not get up onto the risers). He pursued his interest in journalism and media by becoming Editor-in-Chief of the Angelus Yearbook Staff and being a play-by-play and color commentator for his high school’s student-run sports broadcasting service. As he pursued these extracurricular activities, he continued to excel in the classroom and realized that his favorite courses were in the social sciences, but that his strongest subject is mathematics; he plans to bring this qualitative-quantitative combination to his undergraduate studies and professional career. But aside from discovering his interests, Ray discovered his true passion: combating inequity through connectivity.

Ray observed, experienced, and was disgusted by the achievement and opportunity gap in his high school, and he would become a beneficiary, member, and then leader of the efforts of Angels for AP Excellence through which he enabled promising students of color to enroll in the advanced courses in which they are severely underrepresented. Building on his leadership development training as a Bezos Scholar at the Aspen Institute, Ray launched the Ask An Angel Network & Expo, student-generated online and in-person connectivity platforms through which students can engage with the experiences, insight, and advice of East High School’s vast, 100-year-old alumni network. Connectivity between people and resources, people and opportunities, and, most importantly, people and other people is what matters most to Ray. He wants to maximize the positive impact he can have serving as a human liaison in order to decipher, serve, and ultimately transform underprivileged people and communities by providing others with the connections and supports that allowed him to pursue and accomplish his goals.

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