Nate Doddy – Texas Nomination & Photography by Dallas McNeal Photography Issue 57 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Nate Doddy is amazing young man who has a heart to do what is right in the midst of hardships. His life turned around when his father was sick in the hospital and he realized how valuable life is for each and every day. He started a Bible study among his peers and has plans to attend Tyler Junior College with goal to major in kinesiology. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Photography by Dallas McNeal Photography
Tell us more about your Bible study group. My school had daily Bible devotions, but I wanted to do something that was more student-led. I talked to my principal and she helped me with finding resources such as a curriculum and lesson plans, and I made flyers to hang around campus inviting students to attend. We began meeting weekly on Wednesdays. For the first meeting, more than 25 high school students met with me in the library, from freshmen to seniors. A devotion leader or other staff member would supervise.
What do you do in your group? Give us an example of an average meeting. We would meet during our lunch/recess period, so everyone would bring their lunches and meet in the library or a classroom. I would present the lesson I prepared on a particular topic: love, anger, perspective, faith, to name a few. I shared scriptures and encouraged everyone to share their thoughts and experiences on the topic. I wanted it to be a safe place for me and my peers to talk about the things that mattered to us.
What have you learned about your leadership style in the process of organizing and running this? I learned that being a leader is not for everyone, and I had to dig deep and find my courage in order to do this. It also allowed me to practice public speaking, and speaking in front of a crowd is not always easy.
What is a favorite memory from your Bible study group? My very first meeting is definitely a favorite memory. I was so amazed by how many students came, even students I did not know that well. Everyone was spread out around the room and listening and participating. Two of my mentors, who I really look up to, supervised the first meeting, and I feel like they were really proud of me.
How did you find and why did you choose Dallas McNeal Photography for your senior photographer? Ms. Dallas is loved around our school. She does so many things, and she always has time to talk to you when you need to talk. During our senior trip, Ms. Dallas talked to my mom about an idea she had for a senior photo for me, but she was still trying to figure out how to make it happen. Since I love sports, her idea was to create one photo of me dressed in both my basketball and baseball uniforms. My mom loved the idea of me high-fiving myself so Ms. Dallas made it happen.
What did you love most about it your planning and photo shoot experience? It was a God-thing: I was going to meet Ms. Dallas at the gym of the school, and I was going to change into my uniforms there. My mom suggested that I wear a button-down shirt so that I would not mess up my hair, so I put on a shirt, jeans, and my boots, not knowing that this would be my plan B. When we got to the gym, one of the teams was practicing so we couldn’t begin the sports shoot, but Ms. Dallas decided to get some other shots out on the property, and this became what we are calling my impromptu senior photo shoot. We got some really good shots that I used for my graduation announcements. We ended up taking the sports shots on another day, and it all worked out even better than planned.
Photography by Suzanne Phillips; Yearbook advisor
Share your baseball career with us. I started playing tee-ball when I was five, but after a couple of years (and being hit by the ball) I didn’t want to play anymore. I decided to try again my sophomore year, but that season was cut short by COVID. I came back my junior year, and our team made it to state. I played one last year during my senior year. I played center-field and was a pitcher for our team. I really enjoy catching pop-flies and fly balls.
What is your favorite achievement from baseball? I received the Most Improved Player award my junior year. I was really proud of this since it had been so long since I had played.
What do you think your teammates will remember you most for? I think they will remember me most for my athleticism and leadership. I always encouraged my teammates.
How long have you played basketball, and what position do you play? I also started playing basketball at a young age, maybe around six, starting with the Upward Sports program in my town. I have played for more than ten years as a point guard. I started on the varsity team my sophomore year.
What is your basketball team like and how do you fit in on it? My first year, I had some great leaders on the team. These guys were seniors and they led by example, and they welcomed me to the team even though I was only in the 10th grade. By their example I learned to take younger players under my wing and make them feel a part of the team as well. I play hard, and I am hard on myself. I am my toughest critic on the court.
What do you bring to the court? Passion, excitement, and bravery.
What will you miss most about basketball? I will miss the fans. They were so encouraging, and they kept us lifted up, both on and off the court.
Photography by Dallas McNeal Photography
What are you most looking forward to about attending Tyler Junior College? I am looking forward to the college experience: living in a dorm, going to classes, meeting new people, and learning how to balance everything on my own.
What else should we definitely know about you? I am a friendly, outgoing guy who loves people and wants to pour into people in the future through motivational speaking and/or coaching.
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? My parents tell me that I have overcome a lot of things in life, ever since birth (I was a preemie), and it is important to me for others to know that if I can make it through, then so can they.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be? I would talk to a group of my peers about mental health. I have fought depression and anxiety, and I never want anyone with similar challenges to feel that they are alone in their fight. It is important for everyone to take care of their mental health, and to not be ashamed if they have struggles.