Norfolk man presented with first ‘difference maker’ award
Born and raised in Norfolk, Archie Boone truly embodies the phrase – defying all odds.
Archie was raised by a single mother in the Norview and Parkplace neighborhoods. His mother raised him to be honest and to say no to drugs, but around age 11 negative influences began creeping in. Archie turned to drugs and alcohol in part due to the influence of older cousins but also in large part because of some serious trauma they all experienced growing up.
One day in college, after passing out from drugs Archie woke up to a police officer and Dean of Students in his dorm room. Instead of arresting him, the officer counseled him. The officer told him he needed to make a change now. And just like that, cold turkey, Archie stopped using any drugs. He says it was a divine moment for him. To him, it represented God‘s mercy. And in that moment, a foundation was laid for a new life. Archie went on to become that merciful lifeline for countless people in Norfolk.
When Archie began reaching out to addicts in our city, he himself was homeless, living in a car. He had three jobs, three kids, but he was determined not to give up. Though prevention became his passion, Archie did not feel worthy of the real title, an office, and official role in the city. He wanted to continue his work in the shadows. But in 2016, he landed a job with the community services board. And we’re glad he did.
In the past three years Archie has traveled the country for training on how to battle the opioid epidemic. He learned how to administer Narcan, Archie is certified in revive Ovedose Prevention training in as to what many of our deputies how to administer Narcan. He also gave his time at the Something In The Water Festival, looking for any one showing signs of a possible overdose. Archie also writes his own rap music to get his message out to the kids in Norfolk communities.
Archie now works full time with Norfolk CSB and Norfolk Prevention Coalition. He is truly a difference maker in the city of Norfolk.
So Archie-for all you do to help others lives, for the example you have become for others who have a life story like yours, for making a difference- Congratulations.