By all appearances, 16-year-old Everson Cruz is on track for living the American dream.
He’s a junior at Bosco Tech headed for UCLA or UC-Berkeley in 2016, an alter boy at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Los Nietos, a member of the school’s Key Club, the National Honor Society and the National Hispanic Honor Society with career mentors and a supportive mom and dad.
But four years ago, when his father was laid off, things didn’t seem so rosy, he said.
“I think that impacted my life tremendously, because I got to see the other side of things, of economic things, and seeing my parents struggle,” he said.
Now he’s added to his long list of activities, efforts to provide food donations to the needy.
Everson, of Whittier, recently attained the Boy Scouts rank of Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts’ highest rank. For his service project, he led 10 scouts, adults and volunteers in a project to beautify part of Bosco Tech’s campus. They removed old plants, mostly bushes, and replaced them with drought-resistant plants. They also painted the stairway next to the garden with safety fluorescent yellow paint and installed a new irrigation system for the garden.
“I felt it wasn’t getting attention,” Everson said of the area near the campus entrance. “I had to do something.”
He plans to study engineering in college, specifically dealing with metals. One of his mentors, he said, is teacher Jim Curiel, department chairman for materials sciences, engineering and technology.
“He’s an outstanding young man of character,” said Curiel. “I can’t say enough positive about him. If somebody drops something, he’ll bend over to pick it up.
Curiel, who spoke at Everson’s Eagle award ceremony, said he’s seen many Boy Scouts with the Eagle badge, but not the character. Everson is the “total package,” …
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