Drew McNeal

Geared up in googles, lab coats and gloves, North Lamar student Drew McNeal, third from left, and his friends from the Lone Star Leadership Academy get hands-on experience with cellular biology at the DeBakey Cell Lab. Named after the respected and accomplished medical pioneer Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, the lab exhibit is located in The Health Museum in Houston.

North Lamar High School freshman Drew McNeal sharpened his leadership skills this summer at the 2019 Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. This was his third year to participate in the program.

McNeal took part in the weeklong, overnight camps in the Houston/Galveston area to learn about the great state of Texas and its notable and historical sites. Highlights included NASA, The Health Museum, a boat tour of Galveston Bay with a marine biologist, the San Jacinto Battleground Monument and Moody Gardens.

Along with his Leadership Group, McNeal participated in problem solving and decision-making scenarios, developed creativity and practiced presentation skills. He developed friendships with other high-achieving students from across the state while adding to his resume of academic achievements, developing leadership skills, and bringing home a wealth of information to supplement what he is learning in school.

Drew’s mother, Johnna McNeal, said he has learned so much about Texas and its history, economy, contribution to the world of science, oil production, transportation of goods and lawmaking in the three years he has participated in the program.

“This is really an amazing program that I so wish our teachers would nominate more kids for,” McNeal said.

His teacher, Kim Lacey, first nominated him at the end of his fifth grade year. In four years, he completed all three trips, which included Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin/San Antonio and Houston/Galveston.

Students attending the Dallas/Fort Worth camp visit the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Sites at the Austin/San Antonio camp include the offices of state legislators at the Texas State Capitol, the Supreme Court of Texas, bat watching on the Lone Star Riverboat and The Alamo.

To take part in the Leadership Academy, an educator must make a recommendation based on a student’s ability to demonstrate leadership, academic success, and involvement in school/community activities.

Education in Action, host for the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps, was founded in 2001 by Texas educators to empower young people to be informed and active leaders in their communities.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.