Ruben Casas

"In the past years, the Swim with Mike Foundation has given me the opportunity to focus on my academics and not my financial need. That was a huge weight taken off my shoulders."

Ruben, a talented athlete, excelled at baseball, starting at eight years old. Later on his mother reluctantly allowed him to add football as she was worried he would hurt himself and that would affect his baseball performance. As a high school freshman, Ruben started on the Varsity Baseball team as a second baseman and later a shortstop. He played year round, including during football season and was team and league MVP as well as captain during his junior and senior years. On to Cuesta College where he was a member of the baseball team but was forced to redshirt due to a hinge fracture to his ulna. On a day off he went to the beach then a backyard pool to relax with friends. A dive into shallow water resulted in immediate paralysis. He remained conscious while his friends pulled him from the pool as he instructed them how to stabilize his neck as he had learned in EMT training. While using his athletic training for rehabilitation he earned two degrees at the community college before moving on to UC Davis to pursue a degree in Managerial Economics. He completed his bachelor's degree in Spring 2021.