This piece was on the front page of our local newspaper -The Clearfield Progress -this past Saturday (May 23rd) and believe you me, my family on my Dad's side here are all really happy, pleased and excited about this piece.
The young man in the article is the grandson of my cousin Margaret Anne Hill Weaver and her husband, Jack Weaver. His parents are Paul and Ellen Weaver Monella from Morrisdale. My cousin Margy's Dad and my Dad were brothers.)
It's actually pretty amusing in one respect about this young man, Pj, because of the political party affiliation he has chosen and considering the fact that on my Dad's side of my family, they tended to all be very, VERY, strong Republicans. No one is quite sure where my cousin Pj and I acquired out political leanings though.
But, politics aside here, if my Dad and his brothers and sisters could meet Pj, read this piece about him, they may not totally approve of his party choice but you can bet your bottom dollar that they would all swell with pride and back him completely for having the convictions he has and for his plans for his future as well!
Here then is the article. Read it and I hope you come away feeling as strong a sense of pride as my family and I do to know this young man and the things he's accomplished this far in his life and wish him well for the future too!
Our 96th Year Serving Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg, and Moshannon Valley, PA May 23, 2009
The Progress Home >> Saturday, May 23, 2009 - Student has his eye on achieving goals
Student has his eye on achieving goals
Saturday, May 23, 2009
By Annie Lynn Staff Writer
P.J. Monella of Morrisdale is a student at West Branch Area High School with his eye on goals of high acclaim. The immediate goal, he says, is to graduate from high school. From there he wants to go on to college, and after graduation, go into the field of politics or law and, "make lots of money and make my community and family proud of me," he added. And, he has dreamed of someday being president of the United States.
A possible choice of careers before that may be as a judge. He said he likes what he knows about being a judge and likes the neutrality of judges. They can't be political, he noted.
Off to a good start, P.J. is serving as Teen Court attorney at West Branch, was sophomore class president and served two years on student government. He is also active as the junior high girls' basketball statistician, having served three years, and as varsity girls' basketball statistician, serving one year and as camera operator for one year. He was also varsity football manager for the 2008 season. He notes his favorite sports teams are the West Branch Warriors and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In addition to school activities, P.J. is a member of Morrisdale United Methodist Church, where he is active in many different venues. He was confirmed in 2006. He currently serves a liturgist and acolyte, is also on the Pastor-Parish Relations, Altar, Cemetery, Fundraising and Shoe Bank committees, and is a parsonage trustee and a Vacation Bible School assistant.
P.J. commented that serving on the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee is sometimes difficult because everything must be kept confidential. He added that serving as parsonage trustee is now somewhat difficult because the church is in a transition period of moving from a two-church charge to a six-point charge.
P.J. is also a Moshannon Valley Summer Youth Theatre volunteer. He said he serves on the staff, is active in fundraising, manages the "house" and is a wrap-around helper - meaning helping wherever he is needed. This is his fifth summer to work with the youth theatre. And, this summer will be his third time to sing with Valley Voices in Philipsburg.
He noted some women from the church urged him into singing, and he joined Valley Voices because Patty Coldiron, the director, was his music teacher. "I love it," he exclaimed, adding that the people are fun to be around. The major concert for the year will be at the Rowland Theatre during the Philipsburg Heritage Days celebration.
His interest in politics prompted him to take April 22, 2008, off from school to campaign for Sen. Hillary Clinton in Curwensville and Clearfield. He said the day was filled with knocking on doors, talking to people and trying to convince them to vote for Sen. Clinton. He also stood along the street with a sign urging voters to cast their ballots for Sen. Clinton.
In addition, he and other campaigners offered to take people to the polls if they didn't have a way to get there. And, he said, he wore a Hillary Clinton shirt to school at least once a week and a Hillary button every day. He said the most rewarding thing about campaigning was that Sen. Clinton won Clearfield County by 37 percent of the vote.
P.J. said he was proud that she won Pennsylvania and he felt he helped in a small way with that success. He added it was necessary for her to win PA and it was really rewarding when people said she couldn't win but, "We pulled it off."
"I'm proud to be a part of what happened," he proclaimed. After President Barak Obama accepted the nomination, P.J. said he jumped on the Obama bandwagon and campaigned for him.
P.J. will begin his long journey to the White House in two years, because among the very near future goal plans on his list is running for the West Branch Area School board of directors. On May 26, P.J. will be officially inducted into the National Honor Society.