By Jessica King
Recent Ramona High graduate Alexander Richardson earned state recognition by placing third in his bid for 2012 California Eagle Scout of the Year.
It’s an impressive feat that joins a long list of accomplishments for the 18-year-old, who was one of probably hundreds of teen Scouts to apply for the honor.
Alec, as he is known to family and friends, first applied for Scout of the Year honors through Ramona Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3783. Local VFW posts throughout the state give scholarships to scouts every year. Winners at local levels then compete for regional honors before being considered for the statewide award.
Alec earned his Eagle Scout status by leading a community service program from conception to execution. For his project, Alec gave the Ramona VFW post a new sign.
The idea came to him while attending a Fourth of July picnic at the post.
“I was just sitting there looking around and saw (the old sign) and just didn’t think it was adequate for such an important place,” said Alec. “It was pretty bad. The paint was chipping off and it just looked like an old mess and not something that should be there.”
Alec started in the Scouting program as a first- or second-grader when his family lived in Rancho Bernardo. The Richardsons moved to Ramona a short time later and Alec has been a member of Ramona Troop 679 ever since.
“Scouting has really help build my foundation for what’s good and what’s not good as far as
the choices I need to make,” said Alec. “Like when people ask how it’s changed me, I can’t say it’s changed me because I’ve been in it so long, longer than I had any idea of anything. But it’s definitely given me a foundation for who I am.”
Scouting is a family affair in the Richardson household, where Alec’s older brother, 21-year-old Lawren, is also an Eagle Scout and his younger brother, 14-year-old Wesley, is a Life Scout on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout like his two older brothers.
The son of retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and Ramona High NJROTC teacher Bob Richardson, Alec also has a natural passion for military service.
He graduated as commanding officer of the NJROTC program at Ramona High. He earned a ROTC scholarship to Texas A&M University but passed it up, leaving Ramona for Rhode Island last weekend instead. It’s there he will attend the Naval Academy Prep School in preparation for his dream college, the U..S Naval Academy.
“That’s just where I’ve always wanted to go, pretty much all my life,” he said. “I couldn’t pass that up.”
While at the prep school, Alec hopes to continue cross country and track extracurriculars. While at Ramona High, Alec — an A student — was all CIF and captain of the Bulldogs track team. He’s even in the San Diego Hall of Champions for high school cross country.
As for his future military career, Alec is still deciding where he’d like it to take him.
“Right now, I’m not for certain,” he said. “I’ll probably do something math-related, probably engineering or something like that.”
One things for sure, Alec plans to continue to follow at least one piece of advice from his father — always surround yourself with people who are better than you and they will make you better. So far, that list has included his fellow Ramonans.
“I just want to thank the entire community of Ramona for helping me be the person I am,” he said.