By Olga Rojas Repórter LA PRENSA / EXCELSIOR
A decade ago Erasmo Calderón, 49, began to get involved with the Boy Scouts in Orange County. “To myself, I did not like it, I said it was crazy. But I saw the need for kids who were getting into trouble, ” he said. That was what Calderón observed as a football coach for children between the ages of 8 and 14. He stated that in the Boy Scouts he found it possible to teach these children to be self-sufficient. Boy Scouts provides programs to build the character of youth, trains them in responsibilities of participatory citizenship and development of a personal aptitude.
“I was a troop leader and I started to form a group, which was very difficult because Latinos are not interested. Until I took out my first eagle, which is that young man who for 4 consecutive years works, performs his personal things and presents a project for himself. ” That young man was Kevin Galvez, who proposed to develop a community garden at Pio Pico Elementary School in Santa Ana.
Calderon is an adviser to the Boys Scouts in Orange County, has a group of 142 young people, all Latinos, between the ages of 12 and 18 and also works with other troops in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Buena Park, Anaheim and Garden Grove.
On Friday, February 3, Calderón was recognized by this organization for its efforts to make positive changes to its community. Rachel Cueva, director of Outreach for the Boys Scouts in Orange County said, “Erasmo is such a humble person and has given so much. He is respected by the community, by principals, teachers, and parents. His support has been instrumental in helping me reach the community of Santa Ana. ” Calderón does not like receiving gifts or recognition. “I was caught off guard and accepted it for several reasons: I want to let you know that Latinos can do things well, and to show parents, because I was one of those who said I did not have time, but there are always ways to participate In the lives of our children and we should seek to do things with love.”