As part of his work with the nonprofit organization that bears his name, Ryan Nece, 40, recently went to the Panhandle with 18 rising high school seniors. For four days in June, the team provided support with hammers, drills and paintbrushes to those still recovering from Hurricane Michael. Nece, a former NFL linebacker who was part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl team his rookie year, started the Ryan Nece Foundation in 2009. The foundation's mission is to provide teens with leadership opportunities while instilling the value of volunteerism in their communities.
What's on your nightstand?
Red Notice by Bill Browder. I would definitely recommend it. Bill's life is a fascinating story about an American-born financier who made a fortune living in Russia, the complexities he experienced in between and his dangerous quest to expose the most powerful people in Russia for their murderous acts. It reads like a true thriller.
If you could time travel, what book or author would you encourage 17-year-old Ryan Nece to read?
The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday. And the other book is the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Both are filled with sound principles that can help give young minds guidance.
You are a mission trip veteran, but was there something on this trip in particular that surprised you?
I think every trip is filled with surprises that move me and remind me why I feel called to serve with our students. I have to say that while Hurricane Michael happened more than eight months ago, I was shocked by how little had been done in Panama City in the recovery process. The city is still in pretty bad shape, outside the tourist areas, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get people, families and communities back to a normal way of living.