Teen of the Week: Parkersburg Catholic’s Neva Bryant wants to pursue a career in government
PARKERSBURG — Eighteen-year-old Neva Bryant plans to pursue a career in politics through joining the West Virginia Army National Guard.
“I chose the WVANG because it allows me to simultaneously serve my state while obtaining my college degree,” she said. “I will have an opportunity to learn skills and have life experiences that many others won’t.”
Bryant signed up to be a Horizontal Construction Engineer and will be using different kinds of heavy equipment while in the Guard. She leaves for boot camp and AIT job training on July 19.
“I’m nervous but excited,” she said, about going to boot camp.
Bryant said she is proud to serve West Virginia.
“I love my state very much and can’t wait to proudly serve her,” she said. “However, the laws and values here make it difficult for young people like me to stay or return after we get educations. I hope to see West Virginia and her people begin to re-evaluate how we treat our mothers, sisters, daughters and minorities and move away from archaic laws and thinking that prevent us from moving forward.”
Bryant recently graduated from Parkersburg Catholic High School with a 3.5 GPA.
“I really enjoyed the smaller environment which allowed me the opportunity to cultivate relationships with my teachers, several of which I’m still very close with,” she said.
She participated in volleyball, basketball, cheer and baseball, as well as Parkersburg Catholic’s yearly drama production and Quiz Bowl. During her time in high school, Bryant took all of the honors courses she could and a college English course to help prepare her to progress to the next level of education.
Bryant got accepted to her college of choice, Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and will start in January.
“I plan to study Political Science and International Relations which I plan to use to begin a career in public service,” she said.
After college, Bryant hopes to work in Washington, D.C., in government or with the U.S. State Department at an embassy.
“I want to be able to live comfortably and have a job that fulfills me and enables me to travel,” she said.
Bryant has volunteered in the past at Camden Clark on efforts to help employees and patients. She has also spent a summer as a teen docent on Blennerhassett Island.
“I’ve volunteered with several political campaigns and I also volunteer with Parkersburg Pride, a 501c3 organization that works to make the MOV a more equitable and welcoming place,” she said. “With each experience I found satisfaction in a different way. These opportunities have helped build my confidence, given me a chance to learn new things and meet new people.”
In her spare time, Bryant enjoys swimming, fishing, watching movies and spending time with her friends and family. She also loves to spend time with her two dogs, Burgh and Peat.
James Dobbs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org