Pittsburgh -- Phillip A. McNeal ‘05 has been named the 2010 recipient of the Holy Family Institute’s Courage House Award.
Holy Family Institute (HFI) provides psychiatric services, family therapy, mentor relationships, special education services, medical services, spiritual development, and individual therapy to children in need. McNeal first came to HFI following the divorce of his parents.
“The Holy Family Institute gave me a greater sense of team and family,” said McNeal, who spent two years at HFI. “It influenced me to become more of a giver of self.”
Following high school, McNeal joined the Navy. During the San Francisco earthquake in 1989, he was one of the few members on his ship that supplied power to the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in order for the city’s energy plant to get up and running. Later he earned a bachelor's degree in finance from RMU. Today he is employed by the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System as a fiscal accounts technician, is married, and has two small children.
The Holy Family Institute’s Courage House Award is given annually to a Pittsburgh Steelers player and an HFI alumnus, both who have “shown extraordinary courage in overcoming challenges in their personal lives and careers.” Nick Eason is receiving the award this year for the Steelers.
"One of the reasons we presented Phil with the Courage Award is that he stayed focused on his goal of achieving a college education, and persisted through a variety of challenges until he achieve his bachelor's degree,” said Pam Grove, HFI’s director of development. “We believe that it's critical to have goals in life in order to make significant changes, and Phil focused on that. And he didn't give up despite initial set‑backs."
“Receiving the Holy Family Institute’s Courage House Award means all of my past failures and successes are all part of the master plan to build character within an individual,” said McNeal. “Success is not measured by the position one has achieved, but the obstacles that one has overcome while trying to succeed.”
You can also read more about Phil McNeal in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.