Rider Relishes Being A Leader

ST. MARYS — Leadership, entrepreneurship and education are all important to Memorial High School senior Adam Neal.

“I believe I’m a real good leader,” Neal said of what separates him from other students. “I can help dictate a lot of things and I can help people cooperate and bring people together to help solve problems.”

Neal credited his grandfather for making him a strong leader.

“He’s influenced me to be who I am today because my dad actually hasn’t been around, so he’s stepped in as my fatherly role, and he’s influenced me to be a better leader,” he said.

In addition to his involvement in FCA and on the football, basketball and baseball teams, Neal is also looking to hold a leadership role in DECA.

“Next Thursday, I’ll be going to Columbus and I’ll have to give a speech in front of other high school kids — about 100 or so — and I have to answer questions,” he said. “I’m running for a state officer spot as secretary/treasurer. There’s seven state officers, and I’m looking to be one of them.”

As a secretary/treasurer, Neal said he would like to create a budget for DECA that enables more members to attend nationals.

“There’s some things that I could change within the DECA organization,” he said. “I want to create a budget so people from other chapters can go to nationals, which is in Anaheim, Calif.”

Neal also would like to ensure DECA camp continues.

“There’s also DECA camp, and I want to make sure that stays around for a long time because there was talk that it might not exist later on,” he said. “I want to try to create a couple budgets for that.”

After high school, Neal plans to study education or entrepreneurship at the University of St. Francis or at Ohio Northern University. Recently, he was able to speak about education and entrepreneurship with Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney at a rally in Celina after helping move some fences that cleared a path for the two candidates to reach the stage.

“They were carrying fences to block off where they would be walking through, so I helped and grabbed one and brought it over,” he said. “I stood there until they came out.”

Neal briefly shook hands with the two candidates when they walked by to get to the stage, and after the rally, Neal had an opportunity to speak with both Romney and Ryan.

“I shook Paul Ryan’s hand and I asked for a picture,” Neal said. “I thanked him and I said I hope he wins the election. Then Romney came by and I said I wanted to thank him for giving me a little hope because I’m going to college next year and I want to be an entrepreneur, so he hits two birds with one stone with what his policies are.”

Though his time at Memorial High School is almost up, Neal will take many memories of his time at the school with him and pointed to a football game his freshman year as one of his best.

“My last game was one of the coaches’ last game — he had cancer,” he said. “We won that game and it was the last game he coached before he passed away. It was real meaningful.”

Neal advised underclassmen to be friendly and make friends to make their high school careers easier.

“Make as many friends as you can and don’t make any enemies,” he said.

Neal, 18, is the son of Donna and Stewart Neal. He has two brothers, Marcus and Travis.

— This is part of a senior feature series to appear in The Evening Leader showcasing members of the 2012-13 St. Marys Memorial High School senior class.