Ryan Malo has always been interested in a career of service.
After receiving his master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia in 2012, he returned home to Massachusetts to begin a fellowship with Education Pioneers, which provides staff to work for and advise school districts, charter schools, and other educational organizations. Malo worked alongside other young professionals dedicated to improving the leadership capacity within underserved school districts.
While Malo took pride in serving his local community, he sought out other opportunities to serve. He was prepared to join the Marines in 2014, but his plans had to be set aside when his father passed away unexpectedly.
“It was a pivotal moment where I needed to commit to the Marines or remain close to my family in Boston,” says Malo. “I made the decision to stay home, but I still wanted to serve.”
Inspired by friends and family members who were police officers and firefighters, Malo chose a new route and joined the police department in Nashua, N.H. As a patrol officer, he handled a wide variety of situations. “Quickly assessing different circumstances made the job challenging and simultaneously very rewarding,” Malo states. “Balancing action and emotion is a skill I acquired during this experience. It’s by far the most challenging job I’ve had to date. I’m looking forward to seeing how it positively impacts my legal career.”
A Social Justice Scholar at Rutgers Law School, Malo is among 13 new students in the program, which recognizes students for their social justice work. In addition to a partial scholarship, he and the other new Social Justice Scholars each have a faculty mentor to help cultivate them for public service work. Started in 2016, the program also provides noncredit workshops to hone their skills on social justice and civil rights issues.
“I’m incredibly honored to be a part of the Social Justice Scholars program at Rutgers, and I’m looking forward to serving the greater Philadelphia area.”