About the Author

Neal C. Lemery, JD, is a native of rural Tillamook County, Oregon, and a fourth-generation Oregonian. He has served as Tillamook County justice of the peace, as a circuit court judge pro tem in three counties, as a municipal judge in five cities, and as a juvenile alternative court judge. He has also served as the Tillamook County district attorney, where he implemented child support collection and criminal victims’ assistance programs. A dedicated community organizer, he has been active in a local art gallery, master gardeners, and a country and rock band. He has served as president of the Oregon YMCAs, the Tillamook Bay Community College Foundation, and the Oregon Justices of the Peace Association. Now retired, he has mentored young men incarcerated in a local prison. Lemery and his wife have been foster parents to several boys. Be the Change: One Random Act of Kindness at a Time is Neal's latest book. Each of us can make a difference in the world, starting with ourselves, our family, our neighborhood, and our community. That difference, that work of being an agent of change starts with one person – you. One person and small groups are the true change agents in the world. One person can make a difference, significant and often monumental. This book is a collection of thoughts, expressions of optimistic intentions, to make a difference, to be a force to be reckoned with. I believe in the empowerment of one person to bring about fundamental change. You and I can change attitudes and can help people reform their focus, their life force, to bring about basic, lasting change. This work starts with one person who has a strong sense of idealism and purpose, who wants to make their life, and eventually, the world a better place. That aspiration can be daunting, but it begins with one step, one small change. A person who is committed to an ideal and has a plan of action, is a force to be reckoned with, a game changer, and one of the most powerful forces in the world – a committed agent of change. Building Community: Rural Voices for Hope and Change: An Oregon Perspective (2020) is Neal's fourth book: How are rural American communities working to build a better world? These are the stories of building a stronger rural America. These are the stories of a resurgence in diverse talents and work in progress to improve community services, relationships, and to further collective societal values and organizations. Active community involvement engages everyone, to address social conditions and improve our collective lives. In part, this book gives voice to diverse points of views and experiences, and shows the strengths and talents of rural Oregon communities. Numerous community members from rural Oregon offer their perspectives and describe their work, building better, more vibrant communities that are meeting the difficult challenges of rural America in the Twenty First Century. His novel, Finding My Muse on Main Street (2018), is a young adult novel celebrating and examining the creative spirit and journey of a young man growing up in a rural Pacific Northwest coastal town, seeking avenues for his creativity and revitalizing a blue collar town. The artists in his life fires up his creative spirit, and he, in turn, motivates others to celebrate their own creativity and build a community that celebrates art. Lemery wrote his first book, Mentoring Boys to Men: Climbing Their Own Mountains, to share his experiences and to encourage others to pay attention to the plight of a lost generation of young men. His second book, Homegrown Tomatoes: Essays and Musings From My Garden, continues his exploration in our culture's raising of youth to be productive adults, and how gardening and mentoring go hand in hand. Lemery is the second place winner of the 2016 John Duncan writing contest, for a story from his first book, Mentoring Boys to Men. Read Neal's blog at https://neallemery.com/blog/ See his video on mentoring and writing. https://tctv.viebit.com/#38c336a34a34c905494d4b2043464ce4 Watch one of his former mentees talk about changing his life and his work as a mentor and juvenile probation officer now. https://youtu.be/lBZeyuUC7dI

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