At the age of eight, Okoro joined Troop 185 in the Bronx and dedicated his time to learning the Boys Scout code of conduct and upholding its creed. It was not a surprise when the Greater New York Councils Boy Scouts of America selected him to address the 2018 Banking Industry “Good Scout” Award Luncheon in October of 2018.
Bronx, New York: Seventeen-year-old Anicho Okoro ‘19 is a soft spoken young man with many accolades to his name. As he describes his time as a decorated boy scout, you get the impression that he would rather be helping others than sharing his noteworthy accomplishments.
At the age of eight, Okoro joined Troop 185 in the Bronx and dedicated his time to learning the Boys Scout code of conduct and upholding its creed. It was not a surprise when the Greater New York Councils Boy Scouts of America selected him to address the 2018 Banking Industry “Good Scout” Award Luncheon in October of 2018. Okoro presented the award to Mark Mason, incoming Chief Financial Officer at Citigroup Worldwide. “I was overjoyed when I was chosen to speak in front of all these incredible people. It was a humbling experience that will stay with me for a lifetime.”
Okoro’s speech impressed a room full of business executives and high ranking members of the Boy Scouts community. He shared his love for the organization and mentioned how it was his older brother, a fellow scout who inspired him to join. He went on to describe how the organization allowed him to participate in many activities such as camping, hiking, and swimming. In addition to his adventures, he held positions as an Assistant Patrol Leader, instructor and Order of the Arrow Representative. While he stood proudly in his uniform decorated with pins reflecting his achievements, Okoro’s Assistant Scoutmaster Kenrick Sifontes sat in the audience beaming with excitement and pride.
A nine year veteran of the Boy Scouts, Sifontes has seen Okoro’s leadership and mentoring skills flourish. “Anicho was very cool and well spoken. He hit specific points that the audience identified with. He has been involved and has participated in every activity that you can think about in our troop and in boy scouting. He has been a part of the Honor Guard of Greater New York Council and he has been Senior Patrol Leader, instructor and a mentor. He lives the scout motto and the scout laws. He is always available to teach scouting skills and is the first person to volunteer for a service activity.
In February of this year, he led a delegation to the Boy Scouts. He was the senior most member of the Boy Scouts representing the organization where he met with state senators.” Sifontes also pointed out that the Citigroup CFO was so impressed with Okoro’s performance he offered to write the young scout a college recommendation.
For Okoro, the Boy Scouts mirrored the same structure that he experienced at Cardinal Hayes. Both organizations share the value system of brotherhood, service to others, leadership and respect for your fellow man. “It didn’t feel like a change for me coming to Hayes in 2015. The transition was seamless because so much of what I learned at Hayes was very much like the Boy Scouts. My first year at Hayes I joined indoor and outdoor track. I got to know my classmates throughout the four years and we remained close friends. I had people who I could count on if I needed any help. Like Assistant Scoutmaster Kenrick Sifontes, Okoro found a mentor in Rui Guimaraes his Honors English teacher. “Mr. Guimaraes always tells us to improve ourselves. He pushed us in the right direction and taught us different strategies we should use on the SATs to better our education.”
As Okoro heads off to college in the next few months, Sifontes has some words of wisdom for the stellar scout. “What I usually suggest to all young men is develop a circle of influence. A circle of people that you can reach out to for advice and help you build your career. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid let people know who you and what your skill sets are.”
Cardinal Hayes is an all-boys, college preparatory Catholic High School serving the Bronx and upper Manhattan communities since 1941. It has steadfastly provided young men from diverse backgrounds access to a transformative education and a pathway to lifelong success.
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Cardinal Hayes High School