“It was easy for him to go either wrong or right,” she said. “It was either military school or find help in the area.”
In many areas there simply are not any programs for troubled teens. The mother quoted above feared that her son was being wooed into gang life and wasn’t going to have any of it. Fortunately, there was a teen program in her community that made the difference. It is unfortunate when troubled teenagers are living where there is little help or just bare bones rehabs.
“The help she found was from Rocco Scalzi, founder and chief executive officer of Beating the Odds Foundation, a mentoring and motivational charity group based in Hollidaysburg.
“He [Scalzi] took it on to become a mentor to my son,” she said. “You could see a big change since Rocco came into our lives. Instead of pushing drugs and gangs, they’re pushing Rocco’s Beating the Odds.”
Scalzi has been mentoring Charles and two of his schoolmates — Shaquille Williams and Nick Romano, both 13 — for more than a year.
As for Charles, his mother said his life has changed for the better since he became involved with the foundation.
‘‘The bandanna came off, the attitude changed. We’re building a little character; he’s getting better grades,’’ Adams said, smiling. ‘‘He knows if he don’t, he has to answer to me and Rocco.”
By Ann Walker