Scout helps peers build computers

Scout helps peers build computers

Eagle project helps ALAS youth

By Grace Scullion

July 12, 2022

A local Boy Scout demonstrated that to do justice to the Scout motto, “Be prepared,” he needs 21st-century technological skills, in addition to being able to start a fire and improvise a tourniquet.

Scouts building computers for ALAS

Lucas Velyvis, left, leads a computer workshop in partnership with ALAS in Half Moon Bay on July 6. His Eagle Scout project aims to give the social service agency something it can use long after the workshop ends.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas Velyvis, of Moss Beach, led a team of fellow Boy Scouts and youth from ALAS to build six computers from scratch for ALAS’ new Sueño Center in Half Moon Bay.

Months of planning, fundraising and researching, and years of personal tinkering with computers culminated in a computer building workshop on July 6. He built his first computer at 14 for himself then built one for a friend. The budding engineer decided to channel his personal interest and hobby into an Eagle Scout project.

First Velyvis researched computer parts, assessing compatibility, price and functionality. To raise money, he pitched the idea to family, friends and the Half Moon Bay Odd Fellows and Lions clubs. After ordering the parts, he developed a custom instructional manual in both English and Spanish to guide the students through the building procedures.

Last week, Velyvis guided a team of five Boy Scouts and five ALAS youth for more than three hours of tinkering with motherboards, central processing units, REM cards and HDMI cables. Finally, after a brief pizza lunch break, six computer screens lit up the Sueño Center.

Eagle Scout is the Boy Scouts of America’s highest achievement, only attained by 4 percent of Scouts.

“It's like the graduation to show (the Scout) is ready for the outdoors, embodies the Scout values and Scout oath, and can accomplish a project that demonstrates leadership and puts many parts together,” said Tim Riley, the assistant troop master of Velyvis’ troop.

The project left the students with newfound computer knowledge and the Sueño Center with new equipment. “The goal is to make (the Sueño Center) a technology, entrepreneurship and education center,” said ALAS Executive Director Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga. “Having Lucas bring the computers is a great kickoff.”

Hernandez-Arriaga now hopes the six computers can be used by ALAS participants to learn technological skills and as a business resource.

“Working with ALAS was a perfect match,” said Tanya Gulesserian, Velyvis’ mother. “He wanted to work with his peers in his community.”

After finishing the final paperwork, Velyvis hopes to wear the coveted Eagle Scout badge.

Troop 263 invites both boys and girls to their Wednesday meetings at Community United Methodist Church in Half Moon Bay.

Originally published by the HMB Review here: Scout helps peers build computers