Michael was born and raised in Washington Heights and learned to swim with his family in the Dominican Republic at an early age. He began to swim competitively his freshman year at George Washington High School, where he set a school record in the 50-yard freestyle. During his sophomore year, he began to work for New York City Parks and Recreation, working as a Lifeguarded for three years. Michael went on to teach at other schools and facilities in the city, including Asphalt Green and Seahorse Fitness. He dreams of starting a restaurant business, and someday, to own a recreational center to help the community learn to swim at low rates.