By Steve Svetovich
When you talk to Patrick Devaney Jr., you get the impression he is much wiser than his age of 17.
Maturity, intelligence, humor, introspection, people skills, and a strong work ethic make for an impressive first impression of the Scranton Prep senior.
Son of Patrick and Jackie (Ruddy) Devaney, Dunmore, Patrick has a perfect 4.0 grade point average at Scranton Prep.
Patrick, 17, spearheaded the Leaf Project which raised money for the Great Ignation Challenge food drive. The high honors student is involved in various school clubs and activities outside of school.
The Great Ignation Challenge food drive began as a school charity project in which Scranton Prep students and faculty were asked to bring in canned goods for food pantries.
The Scranton Prep senior organized the project. “It is an organized service project,” said Patrick. “We bagged leaves in local neighborhoods. We raised a total of 1,200 pounds of food which was provided to local food pantries. Instead of pay, we took charity donations.
“I gained more satisfaction than I ever could imagine, better than if it was a for-profit project. The smile I witnessed from the little elderly lady on my block was something worth way more than money.”
Patrick, whose favorite academic subjects are math and philosophy, is a student leader in the Chess Club and Business Club leader at Scranton Prep.
The Dunmore resident has been playing piano since the first grade and enjoys kick boxing. He is a second degree black belt in karate. He will be going out for speech and debate at Scranton Prep this year.
Patrick also runs Paddy’s Lawn Care in Dunmore and surrounding neighborhoods.
“I have been involved in the lawn care business forever,” the young entrepreneur said. “Since I was about 12. We expanded our business last year.”
The articulate scholar said he has learned a lot from his parents.
“My dad always taught me to be a good man, but not in the traditional masculine way. He taught me how to communicate discomfort. That prevents problems. There are no solutions when slamming doors and shouting.
“My mom taught me not only to train the mind, but also the body. She has a strong belief that a balance between the two creates a well rounded individual. She’s the reason I do kick boxing and chess.”
Well-versed and ambitious, Patrick talked about his future goals. “I would like to attend Cornell University and study business,” he said. “I want to go into finance. Running a lawn care business has given me nuggets of wisdom. I have found out that compromise is always necessary.”
Patrick, well-spoken and personable, has thoroughly enjoyed his experience at Scranton Prep. “I would not trade it for anything,” he said. “I am constantly surrounded by such great talent. It pushes you as a person. It’s been a spectacular experience. It will be a sad day for me when I leave at the end of this year.”
Patrick also loves living in Dunmore. “I love Dunmore,” he said. “It’s my little bubble. I feel safe. There are so many nice local businesses. The borough is filled with nice people. There is very little crime.”
Patrick enjoys music and wishes he could have seen the late Michael Jackson in concert.
He has a positive view of the future. “It will not matter what I go into as an occupation in the long term,” he said. “Of course, having a good occupation and being ambitious is nice, but what matters most is surrounding myself with people who love and support me. No amount of money can provide that.
“I will always want to have people and relationships in my life.”