Vidalia High’s Paul rolling paper route profits into his future

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – Ryan Paul considers himself a morning person. Each morning, 365 days a year, the 17-year-old Vidalia High School senior rises well before dawn to deliver newspapers.

&uot;I usually get up at 3:30, throw papers until about 8, then go back home and shower for school,&uot; he said.

While the routine can be draining, Paul has not let it affect his schoolwork. He holds a 3.9 GPA and plans to study engineering at Louisiana Tech this fall.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;But the only way I got there is with my classmates’ help; if I don’t understand something, they’re there,&uot; he said.

Paul is quick to credit his parents, Lloyd and Betty Paul, for supporting him in his determination to &uot;stick with&uot; the newspaper route.

&uot;If my mamma wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be able to do it,&uot; he said. He considers Sundays, when his mother offers to drive while he rolls and throws papers, a day off.

In the three years Paul has kept the route for The Monroe News Star, he has logged many miles on his family’s vehicles.

His mother’s 1998 model already has more than 70,000 miles and the previous car stopped counting at 95,000, Paul said.

Even with all that driving, it is Paul’s keen interest in automobiles that motivates him to get out of bed, even on the coldest of mornings.

The money Paul makes from his route goes toward the payments and insurance for his truck, and he dreams of using an engineering degree to one day design automobiles for a major manufacturer.

Although most of his friends drive cars paid for by their parents, Paul said he respects his parent’s decision to make him earn his own money.

&uot;I think I grew up a little faster because of it,&uot; he said, adding that he values his truck more because he pays for it himself.

Paul said he has gradually become accustomed to getting up early and even finds his job &uot;fun.&uot;

&uot;I don’t have a boss and once I’m finished, I’m off for the rest of the day,&uot; he said.

In fact, Paul has already made arrangements to deliver newspapers in Ruston once college classes begin.

More than anything, Paul said having the paper route has taught him to deal with people and be responsible.