On April 8, local Scout Eryk Chazares from Boy Scout Troop 89 of Brandon presented his Eagle Scout project, which will help the kids at RCMA Sam Allen CDC and is dedicated to Dorothy Bell, who gave his father, Sundy Chazares, immense moral support and guidance in a time of need.
In the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Eagle Scout is the highest rank achievable. It is not an easy goal, as only seven percent of Scouts have attained it.
For his project, Eryk constructed a ‘Shelf of Knowledge’ for RCMA. He said, “When I went to go visit them, they had the books in little plastic bins that the teachers and the kids had to carry around to each classroom.” With this bookshelf, they will not have to carry books around.
He added, “I decided to install it there because my father, when he was younger, was a migrant worker, but his parents never wanted him to go to school until he met a guidance counselor, [Dorothy Bell], who decided to take him in and…allow him to stay at her house for the remainder of the time he was at school.”
On how he picked the name, Eryk said, “Because books are important. They lay the basis of the foundation for kids’ childhoods, and without them, they might not be able to be better than who their parents, like the migrant workers are, and they just might continue that trend for generations to come.”
Thanks to Bell being the mentor, friend and mother he never had, Sundy is currently the principal of Simmons Career Center in Plant City and is an advocate for students facing similar struggles.
“She showed me the values of a hard worker, perseverance and making sure that you don’t quit or give up so easily in life because life will bring you challenges and you have to learn to overcome them,” said Eryk.
The bookshelf was installed in conjunction with Troop 89. On it, Eryk placed a plaque to formally dedicate it to Bell, which says, “’My father would have never made it without your guidance, love and patience.’”
Eryk hopes that other people, including the young kids at RCMA, will always remember that compassion, love and understanding can go a long way.
Eryk’s Shelf of Knowledge stands in RCMA Sam Allen CDC, located at 2701 De Montmollin Rd. in Plant City.