By Donovan Radford, Ballard High School
When Memphis high schooler Angelo Perry Jr. saw his high school classmate, Gabriel, sitting by himself, Perry felt compelled to approach the young man and start a conversation with him.
“I feel that he should get treated how I would like to be treated,” Perry said.
Perry, nicknamed AJ, said he tries to be friends with everyone, a result of his “big heart.” He said he aspires to treat everyone with fairness, equality and kindness.
However, Perry’s cousin Jay Whitehead said it might take a while for Perry to open up.
“Angelo is a very shy person, but once he warms up to you he will talk your head off,” Whitehead said.
Perry is also not afraid to step out of his comfort zone and try something new such as tasting clams or trying out for a sports team.
“Angelo really tried something new when he went out for the school basketball team,” Angelo Perry Sr., Perry’s father, said. “It was his first-ever tryout, and it was something new.”
The tryout turned out well. He made the Collierville Dragons freshman team as a shooting guard.
Perry decided to give up basketball and is now a backup cornerback on the Cordova High School football team.
Perry said he has a close relationship with his father and calls himself “a huge family person.”
“My father gave me the opportunity to work, and I work with him at Zodiac Grill on Wheels,” Perry said.
Perry helps his father raise his 2-year old sister, Addison. His family is rather large, he said, including his four sisters, two nephews and one recent niece.
Perry said he plans to attend a good college and maintain good grades so he can choose any career he wants. Perry is currently a rising junior at Cordova High School, so he expects to look at colleges this year. He said he is considering attending the University of Alabama.
Perry said he wants to be a lawyer so that he can give back to people who are struggling. He said he plans to donate money to charities when he becomes successful.
“I see people struggling in Memphis, and they need help, but no one is helping them,” Perry said.