Patrick Melia ’21

Throughout his first three years at Bishop Montgomery, Patrick Melia ‘21 has been a leader in all that he does. In the classroom, he is an excellent student who his teachers and peers respect for his intelligence, diligence, and creativity. Beyond the classroom, he is captain of the boys’ swimming team, a shadow host, a Bishop Ambassador, and last year, he was selected to represent Bishop at the American Legion’s Boys’ State. Outside of school, Patrick works at St. James School in their after school care program and he is a member of Junior Lifeguards. In 2019, he was named the United States Lifesaving Association Junior Lifeguard of the Year. He will never admit it, but leadership comes naturally for him, and it is something he will carry on to great things. “Patrick is committed to excellence and will not settle for anything less,” says his swim coach Amy Traxler. “He is a natural leader who is intelligent, motivated and kind.”

What do you think is the most important quality a leader must possess? How do you see yourself as a leader in your activities at Bishop?

“Making a decision that ultimately might not affect you the most, but will affect others the most in a positive way. Making decisions that help people in positive ways leaves a lasting impression. I’ll answer the second part in terms of the swim team. I think I have helped build a foundation for the team by finding new, talented swimmers, modeling for my teammates how to prepare and practice, and making sure everyone feels like part of the team. It is important for me to help create bonds with my teammates. That is what being on a team is about.”

What are some leadership qualities you have learned as a student at Bishop?

“I have learned to be a leader as my own self. I try to make my own decisions and stay true to who I am. As an ambassador, a lot of what we do is going out in the community to talk to students and parents who are thinking about coming to Bishop. In talking to others about the school, I’ve learned how important it is to show who you truly are and don’t be anyone you are not. [Bishop Ambassador moderator] Mr. Fitzsimons has really ingrained that into us.”

Why is it your desire to attend one of the service academies after high school?

“My first choice is to attend the United States Naval Academy. I have always wanted to serve the country. Going to Annapolis would allow me to get a great education and build character. If I am able to attend, it will be the biggest challenge of my life, but there will be so many opportunities to show who I am as a leader. In whatever I am doing, I have always wanted to help people. My grandfather taught me how to be compassionate and selfless and I think I can find my own way in serving the country.”

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