Neal Cordero, remember that name boys and girls because you are going to be voting for him as president of the United States in the near future. I sat down with Neal to see what his plans are in the future. Boy, was I in store for a pleasant surprise.
Q: Where are you from? How old are you? What is your major?
A: I am from San Antonio, Texas aka the great state of Texas. I am 20 years old, and my major is Political Science.
Q: Where do you currently work? As what?
A: Most recently, I was a session aide at the Florida State Capitol to Representative Scott Plakon and Representative Rich Workman. Both were committee chairs as well as influential republicans in the Florida House of Representatives.
Q: What do you plan on becoming in the future?
A: My future goals are pretty interesting, at least to me. If things work out the way I see them working out I will be an attorney for a little while and then forge my way through my political career once I am established. I see myself being a state representative, a governor, and ultimately, President of the United States.
Q: When did you know you wanted to do this?
A: Well, it was more of an accumulation of events that made me realize I was meant to do this. First of all, I have had a lot of direction from God. He has always shown me throughout my life that I was meant to help the people of this country in one facet or the other because he has instilled in me the belief that we were all meant to help each other here on Earth. Something else that made me believe I was meant to do this was also the journey that I have gone along in getting to where I am today. Nothing was ever easy for me and yet even though I met many challenges throughout my life, both personal and academic, I was able to come out on the other end unscathed and successful. I have always tried my hardest and since I have come this far, despite the many obstacles, I believe this path was the right path for me.
Q: What are you involved with on campus?
A: As of right now I am a writer for the Greek Odyssey as well as a brother of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and was its first Secretary during my freshman year.
Q: What were some of the reasons you chose UCF over other universities?
A: Well, this is a pretty easy question to answer. For me, UCF has always stood for opportunity and it has never failed me in that regard. When I heard of the opportunities that UCF offered to its students and also the fact that I would be able to leave Texas and start a journey of my own, I jumped at the chance. This school stands for a lot and stands by its students even more, and I am very blessed and fortunate to be able to call myself a Knight.
Q: What are your plans for your senior year at UCF?
A: Well this is it, the big year, haha. I am more than likely going to help my former boss, Representative Plakon, campaign for his re-election and I even might help my friend Luke Givens run for County Commissioner. Despite these awesome possibilities, I will be taking classes and continue the tradition of forging new friendships along the way.
Q: Favorite Sports team?
A: Well, without a doubt, my favorite sports team is the best basketball team in the NBA – The Miami Heat. My Heatles and I go way back, back when we were nothing, back when D-Wade had no help and we won just 18 games. But now my team has finally achieved greatness. I cried when Lebron James and Chris Bosh teamed up with D-Wade and formed the Super Friends because I knew instantly that it was finally my team’s turn to have a dynasty. What an amazing journey it has been for us Heat fans, and we are winning it all this year for sure. Haters gonna hate, I know that, and I encourage them to drink all the "haterade" they want. They can also drink it while we hold up the Larry O’Brien.
Q: Favorite Foods?
A: My favorite food is Mexican food/Cajun Seafood. I used to work in restaurants that served both types and I just grew a love for it.
Q: Who is your inspiration?
A: Well, my hero is Martin Luther King Jr. Interestingly enough, I feel as if many Americans really do not understand the true greatness that MLK Jr. was. He embodied what it means to be a true American, to live in a country that judged you not by the color of your skin but by the content of your character. He envisioned a day in which all Americans would truly be free and would be equal under the law. But the most amazing thing he ever spoke about was love. We as a society need to love others because when we were put here on this Earth we were not put here alone, and that was for a reason. If humanity could just see that we are all connected in the greatest yet smallest of ways, I am almost sure this world would be a better place. That was a dream of MLK Jr., and his dream lives on in all of us.
Q: What have you had to give up to get to where you are now?
A: Well, for one, there were many times I had to swallow my pride and complete tasks that I knew would end up hindering me in the short run. There were times where I had to give up going out and instead stay home and work on arguments and assignments for my bosses/school. But I believe the thing I gave up the most was seeing my family as often as I had seen them. They live in Texas now and my twin brother lives in Arizona. I know my family knows that I love them with all my heart, but giving up that time with them has been hard, to say the least.
Q: What has been your most memorable moment at UCF?
A: Well, my most memorable moments at UCF had to have been when I met my friends Brandon Quaglia and Danny Gauna. They are two of my biggest supporters and are my brothers through thick and thin. We may not be in the same fraternity, but we have a great relationship and we are there for each other no matter what. Meeting those two changed my life and ultimately enabled me to succeed here at UCF, and I cannot thank them enough for that.
Q: What would the White House look like with you living in it?
A: Well, things would definitely be a little different. I would like to make it a place where constituents could come and talk to me about issues, more like an office for the people by the people. I know there are a lot of crazies out there, but if we enabled citizens to be more involved in the political process, I believe that they, in turn, would care more and use their vote to influence politics instead of having their vote bought by the media.
Q: Who is your favorite brother of Delta Sigma Phi?
A: Joe Nichols and Matt Paule, I had to choose two. Joe because he is the most down to earth person I have ever met and has experienced things in his life that make him very wise and enable him to make very smart decisions. He is a hardworking individual and that rubs off on me and enables me to do more. And Matt Paule because he truly embodies what it means to be a person without fear. He is the most confident individual I have ever met and is always himself, no matter what. The guy will make you laugh on end and after you’re done laughing you will tell yourself “man this guy is awesome,” and you may even say “I'm glad someone like this exists.” He has a great heart and is a very talented person, and I know he is going to do great things.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: Well, if I am not studying or hanging out with friends, I am usually at home hanging out with my dogs Coco and my brother’s dog, Lucas. Coco is a poodle and Lucas is a pug and they really don’t get along, so most of the time they are fighting for my attention, which I find hilarious.
Q: If you played a sport professionally, what would it be?
A: Hands down, it would be basketball. If I was 6’6” and 250 pounds I would be lighting it up like my man LeBron James….too bad I’m not...
Neal Cordero is the name, one more time, just for those of you who read the entire article and forgot. I know after sitting down with him that I feel like a different person, and that what he strives himself on is that he is someone who’s different, and is for those who are tired of the typical.