John Neal launches program and encourages high school students to “pay it forward.”
John A. Neal, President of John Neal Homes, launched a young philanthropy program at Manatee High School last week. Speaking to the Student Council Leadership Class at Manatee High, Neal announced the launch of the program that will first be available to all Manatee High School students as a pilot program before being rolled out to students in all Manatee County high schools next year.
“Philanthropy has always been a big part of my life and my business,” Neal told the school's leadership class of more than 25 students in grades 10-12, “I enjoy work and I enjoy building homes, but what I really love is being able to help others right here in our community, making a difference in the lives of people who need it most.”
The John Neal Young Philanthropy Award will be given to one student each school quarter beginning next month. Students wishing to participate will be asked to submit a 500- to 800-word essay about their favorite area non-profit organization. John Neal Homes’ staff will choose the winning essay and the winning student will be awarded a $500 donation to the non-profit in their honor.
“A philanthropic spirit was instilled in me by my parents at a very young age,” Neal said. “I hope this award will do that for some of these students, and will also reward them for efforts they are already making.”
When asked by Neal how many students in the leadership class were already involved with an area non-profit, nearly every student raised their hand.
“We are so proud of the philanthropic spirit our students have here,” said Laurie Kitchie, Manatee High School Assistant Principal. “This program will be a great way to reward their efforts and help encourage them to incorporate giving into their lives forever.”
School teachers will roll out the program through English classes over the next few weeks and will incorporate the contest into curriculum, teaching the students how to write a formal email.
Working with the Manatee Education Foundation as a partner in the endeavor, John Neal Homes will pick the first student winner during the week of December 17 just before the students leave for winter break.
Affiliated with the Neal family of companies, John Neal Homes was the largest custom builder in Manatee County in 2011 based on permits and is currently building in Lakewood Ranch, Legends Bay, The Forest, Riva Isle and on privately owned lots in Bradenton, Venice, Parrish, Siesta Key, and Freeport, Bahamas.
The company is completely integrated to benefit its customers, with its engineering and building team, plus PureStyle design services and Waterscapes pools, the fifth largest pool company in the state. Established in 2010, John Neal Homes garners a 99.8% positive customer referral rate and is a testament to the customer service offered by John Neal Homes.
Neal is a fourth generation builder in the Neal family and under his pioneering leadership, the John Neal Homes team builds on more than four decades of experience. Neal is a dedicated community advocate and philanthropist. He sits on several community boards including the Manatee County Red Cross, the State College of Florida, and is an incoming board member of the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce. John also sits on the Environmental Lands Action Committee for Manatee County and continually takes an active role in advocating for and supporting his community.
The company's honors and accolades include Aurora Awards for models in The Country Club at Lakewood Ranch and Country Club East and several Parade of Homes awards from the Home Builder’s Association. John Neal was named as one of the Gulf Coast Business Review’s 40 under 40 in 2011 and a person to watch by Biz941. John Neal Homes is a custom builder that designs homes in planned communities as well as on your lot. For more information go to www.homesbyjohnneal.com.