Ricardo attended his first two years of high school at Oak Lawn Community High School and the next two years at Evergreen Park High School where he graduated in 1984. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college when he graduated from Moraine Valley Community College with an Associates of Science degree in 1987. After deciding on a career helping others, he graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelors of Science degree in physical therapy in 1989.
While continuing to work full-time, he returned to school to complete his Master of Health Science degree in physical therapy from the University of Indianapolis in 1992. While a full-time faculty member at Northwestern University, Ricardo completed his doctoral work research along with his doctoral level teaching responsibilities as part of the faculty. He completed his PhD in physical therapy in 2007 from Nova Southeastern University. The opportunity he had to attend college and the belief that every American should have the chance to succeed is central to everything he does.
Ricardo has been working as a physical therapist for the past 22 ½ years. He quickly rose in his chosen healthcare profession and has worked in a variety of settings including acute care, out-patient clinics, and in education. He has emerged as a leader of his profession. He has also been an adjunct instructor at Governors State University, Morton College and Oakton Community College. He has served as a clinical instructor for 75 students during their clinical affiliations throughout his career.
Ricardo has been involved with protecting the public and has written physical therapist licensure exam questions and orthopedic specialty exam questions for physical therapists sitting for board certification in orthopedics. He was appointed to serve on the Illinois Physical Therapy Licensing and Disciplinary Board. Ricardo has generously donated his time to community based organizations and has presented over 70 physical therapy/health related lectures to various groups
Additionally, he has presented over one hundred professional presentations across the country to physical therapists and other health care professionals for continuous professional education. He is a licensed physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist and he is currently enjoying clinical practice.
Ricardo and Gina are enthusiastically supportive of all who have worn or currently wear the uniform of the United States military. He is an active member of Sons of the American Legion in Tinley Park, Squad 615. He has served as a Guardian on ten occasions for Honor Flight Chicago where he has escorted 25 World War II veterans to see their National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.Ricardo is a member of the Patriot Guard Riders who welcome home outstanding members of our military. He has volunteered to help serve veterans at Manteno Veteran’s Home and they continue to send care packages and write Christmas cards to those serving overseas. They also have welcomed sailors from Great Lakes Naval Academy into their home to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family the past two years. On Christmas, 2011, they hosted 35 recruits at his Tinley Park American Legion Post 615, where they brought food and he donated his laptop for the day so the recruits could Skype with their families.
It is Ricardo’s mission to serve others and he has volunteered extensively to help others all over the world. Gina and Ricardo helped to build homes with Habitat for Humanity on several occasions. He has volunteered at the free clinic in Chicago to provide pro bono physical therapy for people who were uninsured. He has traveled to lecture fellow professionals and provide pro bono patient care with Health Volunteers Overseas in Peru and with Global Medical Brigade in Honduras. He was a volunteer on the medical staff for the Chicago Marathon for 10 years. He has also lectured to high school students from across the country for the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. He has volunteered as an anatomy expert for the Museum of Science and Industry and served as a volunteer physical therapist at the Paralympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Ricardo and Gina have a track record of supporting numerous charities including:
- Toys for Tots
- Lawrence Hall Youth Services
- Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS)
- Greater Chicago Food Depository
- The Carter Center
- Habitat for Humanity
- The Police Survivors
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Honor Flight Chicago
- Land of Lincoln Honor Flight
- Team up for the Troops
- Operation Support our Troops
- Salvation Army
- Homes for our Troops
- American Heart Association
- Special Olympics
- Animal Welfare League
Ricardo supports the Second Amendment and is an Endowment Member of NRA and Life Member of Illinois State Rifle Association. He is actively supporting youth education, law enforcement training, hunter education, conservation, firearms and marksmanship training and safety by regularly supporting Friends of the NRA. He is an Associate Member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Today, Ricardo is motivated by the lessons he learned from, growing up in a large family: hard work, self-reliance, honesty, integrity, family values, duty, helping your neighbor, the power of faith, and a sense of responsibility to community and country.
- Committed to strengthen Illinois’ economy and help the taxpayers of Illinois by providing state income tax relief.
- Promote job growth and assist businesses in Illinois. Attract new businesses to the state by lowering the corporate income tax rate for all businesses in Illinois, not just a select few.
- Cut waste in government, end wasteful spending, demand accountability in Springfield and balance the budget.
- Save the pensions for retirees.
- Support pro-life policies.
- Halt rising crime rates
- Defend the Second Amendment.
- Improve quality of healthcare.
Ricardo has received several awards including:
- The College of Health and Human Services Outstanding Clinical Supervisor from Governors State University in 2009.
- The Excellence in Teaching and Service Award from EsSalud in Lima, Peru, in August 2005.
- The Most Outstanding Clinical Supervisor of 2000 from Governors State University.
Born to a large family in Oak Lawn, Ricardo is the second oldest of ten children. Ricardo’s strong work ethic, values and sense of responsibility come from growing up in a large low-income family. He was the first sibling to graduate from college and set the standard for the other nine to follow in his footsteps. His grandfather, who passed away in 1980, remains his hero for his service with the United States Army. His grandpa traveled from Normandy, France, to the Battle of the Bulge in Germany during World War II.
Ricardo married his wife, Gina in 1990, and they have lived together in the district for over 21 years. His wife has lived in the district her entire life. They have lived in their current Orland Park home since 1995 and they have 19 nieces and nephews and three dogs.