Meet one of PRO’s newest team members, Jason Ram.
Jason is an Air Force Veteran who was inspired to enter the military after experiencing 9/11 as a teen. Though Jason has faced overwhelming obstacles you could say that those struggles are the very reason that led him to his military service.
Jason’s story is filled with redemption, positivity and hope. But as a child he didn’t always know that things would turn out the way they are now.
Looking back, “It is very surprising how my life turned out.”
Jason faced domestic violence at home, struggled to fit in at school and was put into Special Education classes from an early age.
“At home I was born into domestic violence. I saw things that no child should have to see. I saw my dad beating up my mom. And a lot arguing and day to day fighting that I had to struggle to contain.”
Through the pain Jason was able to find positive ways of coping. One of the most successful outlets for Jason was writing.
“One of the ways I survived that experience at home was locking myself in my bedroom and writing stories to myself of this fictional story called, ‘When Kids Dream.’ The more I wrote the less pain I felt and the better I became. It was one my survival tactics at home.”
Though Jason was able to find a positive outlet at home he still struggled in school and was placed into Special Education. He was constantly bullied by children and school and struggled to fit in culturally.
“Special Education is not a program where you feel special at all. You’re not normal. That is one of the things that you are constantly told in Special Ed is that you are not normal. You’re special. You’re slower. So you need extra help.”
Jason was constantly told that his dreams and aspirations would never be a possibility. When telling his teacher he wanted to be an Air Force officer she quickly shut down his idea as being impossible.
“This was like fire and ice in my heart because as an Indian son I was raised to respect my elders no matter what. So on the outside I was very respectful. Yet on the inside my American in me that struggled as a kid was destroying me.”
But rather than letting his teacher destroy his dreams Jason decided to channel his disappointment into his motivation.
Learning to channel his anger into ambition at home he used his teacher’s doubt to fuel his dream.
The following year Jason watched as the Twin Towers collapsed.
“When I saw the Twin Towers fall I felt my heart drop and my patriotism rise.”
“I vowed on that day I’m going to honor what those people died for. I’m going to honor their lives. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I just knew that I would.”
“At that point I became deaf to the sound of doubt and negativity. I did not care how many times I was shoved into lockers, or bullied or picked on, or my Special Ed teachers that told me I wasn’t smart enough. I was locked on this idea and vision of Jason Ram Air Force Officer.”
Though this dream would one day come into fruition, Jason worked tirelessly to get there. He worked overnight security jobs so he could pay for college tuition out of pocket, slept in his car, fought to block out the continued family negativity and violence- all while attending college and participating in Air Force ROTC.
Jason graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a Bachelor’s in film and commissioned from the Air Force ROTC program at Loyola Marymount University in 2011. He pushed past obstacles that initially seemed impossible and proved that he was more than what others had told him.
“It’s always been about turning your pain into your power. If you can do that you can become beyond powerful. There’s nobody that stops you than the person you see in the mirror. Everyone else just has an opinion of you, not what they know of you. Dreams don’t become a reality until the dreamer makes it a reality. The only individual in the entire universe who can tell you yes or no is the same one you wake to and go to sleep with every night.”