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BRIGHT FUTURES — Nederland freshman Mason Juneau brings helping hand to church, community

NEDERLAND — Mason Juneau is a freshman at Nederland High School, but he is already making a change in the community.

The 14-year-old is involved in several volunteer organizations, including the many community events that take place at First Baptist Church in Nederland.

Juneau has participated in activities helping Texas Baptist Ministries. He helped muck out houses after Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Imelda, haul material where needed and hand out cooling fans during the Fourth of July.

Jason Burden, pastor of First Baptist Church in Nederland, said Mason is the perfect example of a young leader.

“Mason is the kind of kid that every time we have a disaster-relief project, he is always the first in line to lend a hand,” Burden said. “He was one of the first youth helping clean up houses after Harvey. We worked on a house together, and he was pulling up carpet and sheetrock with the best of the adults. He is an eager, willing servant.”

Burden said Juneau was also a big help during Tropical Storm Imelda.

“Mason and his dad were taking materials all over Beaumont and Port Arthur,” he said. “He was a great hand. Not many youth will give up a Saturday to help people they’ve never met before. It impressed me to see that he was willing to help like that.”

Juneau is also a leader in the church’s Vacation Bible School, Royal Ambassadors and a part of the Operation Christmas Child, the church’s annual holiday giveaway.

One of his favorite past organizations is Bullpup Believers at C.O. Wilson Middle School, where he teaches students how to get closer to God.

“My favorite organization is Bullpup Believers because we influence kids to spread the word of God and give them a better understanding of what it means to be a Christian for kids my age,” he said. “We get to meet multiple local youth pastors. It’s like God’s helping them through me.”

First Baptist Church in Nederland always provides opportunities to volunteer and get involved with helping his community.

Burden said it’s an opportunity Juneau always takes advantage of.

“Mason is just a big-hearted guy,” he said. “He’s got a great sense of humor and his leadership comes from being an example. I know he will inspire others.”

Outside of church, the Nederland native is excited to see what new opportunities high school brings him.

“I will explore groups to join at my new school when we start attending,” he said. “When I’m a sophomore, I hope to join the drum line. It will improve my skills and be very fun.”

In his seventh grade year, one of his proudest accomplishments included making second chair for All-Region Band.

He is excited to continue his musical journey as part of the high school band.

“I’m most excited about playing in the band on Friday nights at football games,” he said.

Juneau also takes his education very seriously.

“Education teaches you the importance of things you will do when you are older for all sorts of careers,” he said. “People can take what they learned from school and apply it to their jobs.”

Still young, Mason’s future is an open book, although he looks up to his parents as role models.

“They are wise and have strong relationships with the Lord,” he said. “I wish to be like them one day.”

In fact, his favorite memory includes his dad.

“My favorite memory was getting baptized with my Dad when I was 8 years old,” he said. “I loved it and felt like God was by my side, helping me through every step of the way and still feel this way.”

One of his favorite Bible verses is Ecclesiastes 2:26: “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight.”

Juneau describes himself as an energetic spirit with curly hair and a love for God.

Some of his hobbies include playing video games, solving puzzles and watching basketball. Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors is his favorite player.

“My biggest challenge was, and still is, successfully juggling spending time with my family and friends, making good grades, attending school activities such as band and church,” he said.