Two years ago, Alonzo Erskine of New Haven was facing peer pressure to get involved with drugs and alcohol. Now 16, he knew he needed to clean up his life.
He found a path to a new life in the Boy Scouts.
When Erskine was in middle school, he was part of his school’s football team. His coach, who was also a Boy Scout leader, asked him one day if he was interested in joining the scouts. Erskine said yes.
“I wanted to learn new things and be a [positive] idol to my brother,” Erskine said.
Part of his decision in joining Boy Scouts had to do with the environment of his neighborhood. He said that it isn’t dangerous, but drugs and alcohol are heavily present.
Erskine did not want his younger brother, Arkeith, 15, to give into the peer pressure, so he joined the Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scouts of America offer lots of activities and opportunities to achieve more,” he said.
“[The] badges I earn, push me to earn more,” Erskine said.
The hardest badge Erskine earned was chess because of its difficulty in learning all the pieces and strategic moves. He also attained badges in archery and sports.
Erskine is a sophomore at Amistad High School and helps with the Cub Scout troop. His goal is to be CPR certified and to one day become an Eagle Scout.
With college around the corner, Erskine is thinking about Duke University. Duke is known for its sports and with aspirations of playing in the NBA, he said it would be a good match for him.
If that fails, criminal justice is his back up because, he said, “I really like “Criminal Minds” and “Law and Order.”
Angie DeRosa is a 2013 graduate of Naugatuck High School. She will attend the University of Connecticut.