My name is Gabriel McNeal. I'm a former basketball standout at Point Park University who will graduate in May 2015 with a degree in communications, as well as the President/Founder of the GO PRO IN THE GAME OF LIFE FOUNDATION.
We are a non-profit organization that is to improving literacy skills in the low-income communities by motivating and encouraging at-risks youth to read. Our motto "Game Plan for Life" is our belief that every child with a strong reading background can achieve success in life even when facing challenging circumstances.
I grew up with the odds stacked against me. Both of my parents are incarcerated today, and several other family members have spent time in prison or jail. I had many opportunities to continue down the same path, but I refused to be a bench warmer in the game of life.
Early in my life, my father instilled in me the conviction that reading is key to being successful in life. I know my reading background instilled in me by my father is what enabled me have focus and discipline while progressing through K-12 and then college.
If I can overcome these difficult circumstances, I believe I can inspire other youths to do the same. That is what I am doing today with youngsters in five Pittsburgh elementary schools.