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East Side youth gets Eagle Scout badge

Brandon Barksdale has a long list of awards, and he’s only 16 years old.

He received the NAACP Youth Award in 2015 from the Buffalo Branch.

He was named 2014 Scout of the Year by the Greater Niagara Frontier Council – Boy Scouts of America.

His church – St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church on Buffalo’s East side – gave him its Youth of the Year Award in 2013.

And on Saturday, Brandon will add another honor to his list of accomplishments – Eagle Scout badge and rank.

“Brandon has proven that with determination and hard work, he can overcome any challenge and follow the path to success,” said Janique Curry, spokesperson for Boy Scout Troop 139, which is based at the Northampton Street church.

Mayor Byron W. Brown will be the keynote speaker at Saturday’s ceremony at St. Columba-Brigid Catholic Church on Hickory Street.

To earn an Eagle Scout badge, a scout must earn at least 21 merit badges and demonstrate the “Scout Spirit” of service and leadership, including an extensive service project the Scout must plan, organize, lead and manage.

This past June, in one of the final stages towards Brandon earning his Eagle Scout badge, he hosted a community health fair to support his 15-year-old nephew, Jihad Moore, who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The fair was held at St. Martin Village on Dodge Street and included free health screenings, HIV/hepatitis testing, blood pressure screening and healthy cooking demonstrations.

The inner-city scouting program at St. Martin de Porres was re-established in September 2007 and consists of a Cub Scout program for boys between the ages of 5 and 10 and a Boy Scout program for boys between the ages of 11 and 17. The scouting program currently has more than 60 registered scouts and 10 registered leaders.

Troop meetings are held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays during the school year at St. Augusta Boys School, formerly Catholic Central School on Kensington and Hastings avenues.

Brandon has participated in the Scouts program since 2006 with St. Martin de Porres.

In addition to scouting, Brandon is a junior at Frederick Law Olmsted 156, where he plays football and basketball. Brandon also plays the saxophone for his school band.

email: dswilliams@buffnews.com

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