Brandon Shadley wants to be an international businessman and is already making moves to get ready.
The Lima Senior High School senior traveled to Japan last summer and this fall joined the golf team, knowing both might just help him later in life.
“I never golfed before in my life,” the son of Laura Mell and Robert Mell laughed. “But my DECA teacher said golf is a good way to network. It will be a nice skill to have later in business. It was a little intimidating but it is always good to learn something new.”
Brandon interviewed and got accepted by the Lima Sister Cities Association to travel to Harima-cho, Japan last June. He stayed with a host family for a week, getting a first-hand look at the culture and people.
“I just like a lot of different cultures and I like to travel,” he said of why he applied. “I want to major in international business and I am really into foreign languages.”
Brandon enjoyed seeing the Japanese way of life and raved about how warm and welcoming the people were.
“We went to a middle school and high school and the kids were so amazed,” he said. “They kept jumping on me and wanting to talk to me. It was cool.”
Brandon is treasurer of DECA, a program he says is much more than he ever imagined. He won a first-place district award last year, took third place at the state level and advanced to nationals.
Through DECA, he is also in the new Big Spartans Little Spartans program. The program matches DECA students with Lima North Middle School students.
“I feel like I am really starting to have a positive impact on him,” he said of his “Little.”
Brandon, who maintains a 3.78 grade-point-average, is president of the National Honor Society and treasurer of the Key Club. Both groups are highly involved in community service.
Brandon also works two jobs: McDonald’s and Chief Supermarkets.
Headed to either the Ohio State University or the University of Cincinnati next year, Brandon is already earning college credit. He’s taking college-level classes through Ohio Northern University and the University of Findlay.
He’ll likely minor in Spanish and recently has gotten the radio bug and might pursue that too.
Brandon credits the opportunities he has received at Lima Senior and says he would not be where he is today without his teachers.
“The teachers have been great and have really taught me a lot, particularly my DECA teachers,” he said. “Every teacher I’ve had has influenced me.”