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Check Out Alonzo Perrin’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alonzo Perrin.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was born and raised in East St. Louis Illinois. I moved to Houston, from Nashville in 2011 to get a fresh start. My father was the Chief of Police in the city I was raised in and my mother was an educator for 30 years. My father passed away in March 2017. When my parents were younger, I can always remember them serving and helping people in the East St. Louis Community.

After my dad passed away, I wanted to honor his legacy of giving and serving. I prayed to God and an opportunity arose for me to obtain 50 backpacks for a very low price. I received a blessing by being able to partner with the Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation to host a backpack giveaway and health fair. We have had this event each summer starting in July 2018. Since our first event, we have given away 1000 backpacks, 1000 books, 700 items of clothing, 300 pairs of shoes and have given 100 gift cards to local grocery stores. We have also given away 6 Samsung Chromebooks. All of these events have been in East St. Louis.

Due to the pandemic, I was unable to travel to East St. Louis to honor a high school student with a scholarship in honor of my mom and dad. That award was given to Jack Grant, of James Madison High School, in August of 2020. March 27, 2021, we had our first ever black boys seminar called, Battles, Books and Business. This event was to help boys aged 10 to 14 to reach their God given potential, to give them keys to success and significance and to give them resources on entrepreneurship and true black history. Each boy received a brand new suit, brand new shoes and a digital print of them in their brand new suit. Our most recent event was held at Lee Elementary School on December 16th. We partnered with Lee Elementary School to co-host an Adopt a kid for Christmas program. We were blessed to meet two brothers and their grandmother. Each boy received 2 books, brand new suit and shoes, and bike and hoverboard, and the grandmother received an HEB gift card for 120 dollars. God has called us all to be a blessing.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I lost my j0b in 2009 after 8 years with GE. I ended up making a third less of that money when I took a job as a hotel front desk clerk. I can honestly say that God truly humbled me and I needed it. I lost my way and working at that Holiday Inn Express in Nashville, humbled me and also brought me to a closer relationship to God.

The Front Office Manager, Natasha Grant, hired me and helped me during that tough job loss and separation. I was grateful for her friendship and leadership. Focus on the City was started from a place of pain. I thought my dad was like Superman when I was young. I never thought he would get old and die. Honoring his name with each event is really hard at times because I would do anything to have a conversation with him after each event.

I’m named after my dad and he passed away 14 days before my birthday of March 29th. I do not believe in coincidences and I believe God used his passing for me to honor him and to push me into my destiny and purpose.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m an auditor/risk analyst for Navistar. I audit businesses in the trucking and transportation industry. It is a very investigative job where you have to get to the bottom line of everything. I think what sets me apart is that no one wants to get audited. I try to bring comfort and fairness to the companies and I also bring strong customer service.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I’m grateful for the support of my mom Toni Perrin and my 3 sisters, Tracey, Yolanda, and Denerika as we honor our late father. Our next event will be April 9th, 2022 in East St Louis. It will be the next Battles, Books and Business black boys empowerment event. If you would like to support Focus on the City, our website is www.focusonthecity.org. I had the great fortune of attending two HBCUs. I started at The University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Tennessee State University.

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Image Credits

M.Anson Mullen Photography
Christopher Mikals Photography

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