Bryan Casañas-Scarsella is a first-generation American born in Odessa, Texas, of a Colombian father and Italian mother. As a young child, Bryan lived in Colombia, Venezuela and the US. He was immersed in several languages and grew up fully trilingual in Italian, Spanish and English. He also later taught himself French.
When he was about five years old, Bryan's family moved to Pinellas County where he attended public school and helped out at the family's local restaurant from a very young age. Bryan is also the oldest of four children, and he grew up being a role model and caregiver for his siblings.
In 2003, Bryan was named one of four St. Petersburg Times Barnes scholars. In 2007, Bryan graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Communication Arts and French from Franciscan University. In 2007, Bryan's passion for foreign languages and foreign affairs, led him to intern with the State Department at the Press Office of the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy. Subsequently, he was selected by the French Embassy to serve as a cultural ambassador in Tours, France, for one year.
Having been chosen as a World Languages Fellow by the University of South Florida (USF), Bryan returned to the US to pursue a Master of Arts in French and International Studies. During this time, Bryan also taught Italian and French at USF. Immediately after graduating summa cum laude, Bryan was hired by the French Education Ministry to teach English within the French university system. From 2010 until 2015, Bryan spent his time teaching English in the Lyon metro area. He taught at the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and he also freelanced as a translator for an NGO. For a brief time, he worked for Rosetta Stone's corporate office, teaching foreign languages to professionals at multinationals around the world.
In mid-2015, after meeting his now-husband, Barry, Bryan returned back to his native St. Petersburg and was hired as an admission counselor by Eckerd College. In 2017, he took the St. Petersburg Council of Neighborhood Associations Leadership course and he started a grassroots effort to organize his neighborhood, now known as St. Pete Heights, which helps to advocate for the residents in his area. Bryan currently serves on Eckerd's Diversity Action Council and as the president of St. Pete Heights. Passionate about public transit, he is also involved in efforts to promote alternate forms of transportation within his city.