Faces in the Crowd: Mercy Neal

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Senior Mercy Neal has been around the world, but she is now a Pirate sharing her experiences from overseas with others.

Neal has moved frequently throughout her life with the lead of her parents, both who are pastors.

“I grew up in southern California for eight years, then in New Jersey for five years, and Fiji for three years, and now here for a little over one,” said Neal.

Neal moved to Durham from  Fiji, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean near New Zealand. No matter her location,  she finds it easy to change and grow where she is.

“I like change, in circumstances, I like to remake myself everytime I move, it’s a really cool opportunity to have but it’s definitely difficult, but there is definitely a real gift in it,” Neal said.

Moving from Fiji and starting at Riverside a little over a year ago, Neal has taken on many tasks. Six AP classes, five clubs, and numerous other things have shaped Neal’s image at Riverside. Using her experiences has driven her to succeed because she is aware of the good that can be done from it, becoming noticeable by teachers, including Kate Mester, the librarian.

“Mercy is absolutely lovely,” Mester said. “She’s clearly motivated and intellectually curious and overall authentically kind.”

Neal is also helping spearhead an initiative to inform and spread the word to students about voting and other controversial topics.

“A disinterest in the political world is the effect of privilege or ignorance because it affects everyone, we should feel a task to create a better place to live in and be proud of,” Neal said.

Starting at Riverside at the beginning of her junior year, Neal has expressed her love for the school and has used past experiences to build new ones.

“I am with activism club, I have ‘come out’ as lesbian since I was here, I have found a really good group of friends, and a lot of other great people in this school,” said Neal. “I have really come to enjoy it.”


Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Busch

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