LOOKS BRIGHT: Sophomore eyes life in Army, service

Published 11:45 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — One local high school honors student is preparing for a life of service, and many are benefitting from his altruistic nature.

Felix “James” Perilloux Jr., a 14-year-old sophomore student at Riverside Academy, said after high school his sights are set on attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. He said he hopes to learn everything there he needs to one day serve as a leader in the U.S. Army.

“I’ve always been interested in the military,” Perilloux said, adding history is his favorite subject to study in school.

Perilloux said he has researched admission criteria to the school, which includes a Congressional nomination, good physical fitness and a composite score of 30 on the ACT. Perilloux achieved that score as only a freshman.

Perilloux drew the praise of Parish President Natalie Robottom and the entire St. John the Baptist Parish Council at the August 26 Council meeting when he was presented a parish proclamation for being named the LaPlace Rotary Club’s 2014 Stephanie “Nikki” Wilking Memorial Leadership Award recipient.

The award is the Rotary Club’s Young Person of the Year Award, established in memory of Wilking, the Rotary’s 1997 Citizen of the Year, who died of meningitis in 2001 at 17.

Robottom said Perilloux received the award for his outstanding leadership, community service and academic excellence.

Division A Councilman At Large Lucien Gauff III told Perilloux “to be academically sound, socially aware of others and to give of your time” is an incredible accomplishment for a young person.

Perilloux has been a regional participant and state qualifier at the literary rally at Nicholls State University and Louisiana State University, was named a Taylor Scholar, and as a freshman, was named Outstanding Student of the Year in five different subjects — French I, English I honors, geometry honors, algebra II honors and world geography.

A corporal with the St. John Young Marines, Perilloux said he works closely with the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve, spending time meeting the needs of veterans at the facility.

“Those guys know our history, and it’s important to preserve that,” Perilloux said of the veterans. “I think people should help out in the community in anyway that they can.”

He said volunteering at the home has been very rewarding and educational, and that sometimes the veterans will give him advice on different things, such hunting tips and tricks of the trade.

Since the veterans know Perilloux wants to be a combat leader someday, they also relay personal stories and advice about their wartime experiences.

“They talk to me about what it requires to be a great leader,” Perilloux said.

Perilloux, the son of Felix Sr. and Tracy Perilloux of LaPlace, has also been recognized for his voluntary service by the Prudential Spirit of Community Program and qualified for President Barack Obama’s Volunteer Service Award based on the number of voluntary hours served at the veterans home.

He said he also participates in Senior Beta Club, Student Council, Mu Alpha Theta and the track team at Riverside.

With his hard work and dedication in the classroom and extra-curricular activities, it seems as though anything — including West Point and a career as an Army combat leader — is in grasp for Perilloux.