story & photo
by Maren Schober
Compared to last summer’s physical work, going to school is like taking a rest according to Victor Calle, 17, of East Lyme.
A senior at Saint Bernard High School in Uncasville, Victor has just completed work on his Eagle Project for Boy Scouts.
“I planned the project last April and did the work with my team June through August,” he reports.
“What I did with the help of 22 other workers was to completely refurbish the third floor of the Margaret Mary Center at Sacred Heart Parish in Groton and get half the space ready for a possible rental, which could generate income for the parish.”
Victor hopes to receive his Eagle Scout award next month.
Active work on numerous service projects keeps Victor very busy in addition to his schoolwork.
“I am a member of Praise Choir in school and am a Senior Peer Leader in Campus Ministry, helping to coordinate events like Freshman Orientation, Family Mass, and Ice Cream Social, as well as student retreats. Through my school I have also done work with the Habitat for Humanity organization, having gone on a couple of ‘build days,’ with more in the future. ”
Managing his time to fit in all that he does is Victor’s main challenge.
“I continue to be an altar server in my parish, am preparing to become a Eucharistic minister and to be involved with the new middle school youth group, EDGE. I am an active member of my Boy Scout, Troop 17G in Groton.”
What keeps Victor going?
“The thing I like best about community service work is the satisfaction of a job well-done, seeing the appreciation in those I work with, and the impact that I can have on the lives of others.
I am very proud of my Puerto Rican-American heritage and I was raised by my parents to be a good ambassador of my ethnic group. I am motivated by my drive to fight against stereotypes and to be an example of what Latinos can give to the nation. I feel that navigating the two cultures enhances what I can give to my homeland.”