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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

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Eagle scouts soar to new heights through service projects

Despite+the+wide+range+of+service+projects+completed%2C+each+of+the+experiences+of+Lynbrook+Eagle+Scouts+demonstrates+their+leadership+capacity+and+unwavering+dedication+to+serve+their+community.
David Zhu, Vidushi Upadhyay, Gary Pan, Emily Pedroza and Yvonne Wu
Despite the wide range of service projects completed, each of the experiences of Lynbrook Eagle Scouts demonstrates their leadership capacity and unwavering dedication to serve their community.

Eagle Scouts are the highest-ranking position in the Boy Scouts of America organization, a rank attained through years of service and the completion of an independently organized service project. Despite the wide range of service projects completed, each of the experiences of Lynbrook Eagle Scouts demonstrates their leadership capacity and unwavering dedication to serve their community.

 

Promoted to the rank of Eagle Scout about a month ago, senior Rohan Patel decided to create two bulletin boards for the school for his service project after communicating with Lynbrook administration who identified a need to improve communication with the community.

Patel worked closely with school administration for two months, fostering open and productive discussions that made the process smooth from start to finish. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience of leading the younger Boy Scout volunteers during the building stages of his project. He was inspired after witnessing their quick ability to adapt to new situations, acquire sawing skills and learn to use various tools. Their enthusiasm gave the building experience a sense of joy, and most days had an unexpectedly large number of volunteers. With fluctuations in volunteer numbers during the construction process, Patel adapted and learned to make the most of the available resources.

“Seeing the community come together to help with the project was definitely a joy to experience,” Patel said. “It’s honestly a culmination of all the work I’ve put into scouting.”

This experience was instrumental in Patel’s growth as a leader, teaching him the importance of careful planning. Patel structured activities to provide older scouts with leadership opportunities and younger scouts with learning and building opportunities.

“I realized that my job as a leader was to see things from a larger perspective and not get too caught up with all of the little details,” Patel said. “I made sure the project ran smoothly, and balanced that goal with working on the project to serve my community.”

 

Amid the rhythmic clatter of construction, senior Lori Liu, an experienced Boy Scout, works shoulder to shoulder with members of her community to guide the construction of a new shed. As hammer meets nail and teamwork transcends physical labor, the community-driven progress unites everyone, forming closer bonds.

After four months of laborious planning, Liu successfully completed her service project and acquired the rank of Eagle. Her project was inspired by her experience volunteering with the Cupertino Rotary Club at the Northwest YMCA community garden, where she created paths, built planter beds and implemented compost practices. Undertaking the construction of the shed, Liu was determined to apply her acquired knowledge and skills to make a meaningful contribution to her community. 

“Going through the ranks and leadership positions in Boy Scouts was what made me capable of developing the skills of running a service project on my own,” Liu said.

The planning phase of Liu’s project involved meticulous logistics and resource management. She first created and added to a manual that listed materials and corresponding prices. After comparing the pricing for materials from different sellers — Home Depot, Lowe’s and Kelly Moore Paints — she chose Home Depot for their better deals that would cut costs. However, Home Depot unexpectedly lost the order and could not ship materials in time. Liu reacted quickly, casting a last-minute order to Lowe’s and adjusting materials in her shed manual.

To fund the project, Liu fundraised through a variety of methods, sending out emails and primarily acquiring funding through one-to-one conversations with community members. She also set up meetings with two committees from the Cupertino Rotary Club — the Youth Services committee and Climate Action committee — and received $200 from each of them respectively. She earned $2,200 in total, enough donations to execute her project.

The actual construction of the shed took three days and was the most enjoyable part of the project for Liu. She relished the opportunity to work alongside friends and community members, making the process not only efficient but also exciting.

“The experience of working alongside members of my community is second to none,” Liu said. “I love witnessing everyone’s shared passion and collective effort towards this cause, and it’s truly what motivates me to give my best as a Boy Scout.”

 

Senior Laasya Kolli kneels against pavement, one hand closing around a screwdriver and the other gripping the wooden planks that would soon frame her planters, nurturing rare native fauna. Having spent two months as an Eagle Scout, Kolli had aided her community through various projects and volunteering opportunities. Her most recent project took her near the Baylands Nature Preserve, where she spent time helping build planters for various drought-resistant California native plants she helped plant for Environmental Volunteers, an organization focused on training volunteers to lead environmental projects at school. 

Kolli joined the project after learning about it from her scout advisers, Linda Chin, John Parissienti and Greg Charles, drawn to the prospect of aiding the community by adding more California-native plants to Palo Alto, crucial for food webs and the environment. While working on the project, she used her skills of leadership and creativity to construct the planters over the course of a month. She guided her team through tool usage, leading the volunteers in both building the planters and planting the flora, while demonstrating both acts herself. With the help of her team, she constructed a useful set of four-by-eight-foot planters that housed plants native to California. She was a major contributor to the project: helping schedule work sessions, filling out the necessary paperwork and approvals from her administrators and leading the team through the tough process and drafting the project’s proposal, which helped get the project the proper start that it needed.

“The project really gave me the self-confidence and self-esteem that I needed to realize that I can work hard even in college and take care of my daily responsibilities,” Kolli said.

These lessons were learnt through hardship, blossoming from struggles, challenges and effort. Despite her unfamiliarity with volunteers, she approached them with both friendship and command — letting them have fun and play at times while enforcing work when needed. 

“At first it seemed like the group of guys I was leading had little respect for me, but over the span of days, they grew accustomed to my leadership style,” Kolli said. 

Through the project, Kolli learned to collaborate with others toward a common goal, the value of asking for help, versatility, communication skills all while balancing her work with her stressful academic life, sticking with the project from the ground up. She still reflects fondly on its origins, the paper sketches, and all of the memories that brought the planters to fruition and especially appreciates the help from all of her team. 

These gained skills empowered her to other walkways of leadership, experiences valuable to her role as head photographer of Valhalla, where she can more easily stand her ground, compared to her childhood, when she was shy and soft-spoken. 

“I just think that being an Eagle Scout has made me the person I am today,” Kolli said. “It’s given me a sense of community and accomplishment.”

 

Senior Ravi Sevalia and a group of younger scouts hammer and drill wood into a suitable case for future treasures. Sevalia has spent five months as an Eagle Scout, with his service project consisting of building trays that work to store more artifacts for the Butte County Historical Society Museum. Having heard of the opportunity from his family in the Central Valley, Sevalia rose to the challenge. He helped in building storage for the incoming antiquities, as the museum had been experiencing a limitation of storage space. Along with a group of fellow scouts, he and his team finished the difficult project in roughly three months.

The beginning stages of the project were filled with long and tedious work. Sevalia spent two months consulting peers and other employees at the museum to plan the project. He and his team encountered problems in the process, such as difficulties in getting the proper applications and paperwork signed and incorrect measurements when building the cases. The small mistakes him and his team had to deal with caused complications in scaling for the antique cases. However, by pushing through any problems with careful planning and organization, Sevalia and his team managed to finish the project to great success.

“There are people who can help you, but you’re in charge of making every phone call and organizing everything,” Sevalia said.

Sevalia especially enjoyed working with other members of scouts, including people that he had been friends with for several years. Since the group that was working on the project was tightly-knit and close, doing the work felt less laborious and more fun. He enjoyed spending the Saturday work sessions with his friends at his own house, helping each other construct the artifact cases and having an enjoyable time. He also spent time helping the younger scouts in the process of building from scratch. Sevalia demonstrated how to use tools like hammers, drills and squares. The project group bonded further through group lunches, helping form a better team.

While the many problems and setbacks led to issues in the project, Sevalia felt that the project was worth the effort. After three months, he and his team dramatically improved storage efficiency at the museum, with the amount of space for incoming museum artifacts doubling in size. The museum wasn’t the only thing that grew: at the project’s end, Sevalia found himself more determined and disciplined. 

“I became a lot more proactive when I did activities, ” Sevalia said. “I became more of a go-getter. Working hard with my peers helped me be more focused.”

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About the Contributors
Nicole Ge, Staffer
(she/her) Nicole is a senior and a returning staffer for the Epic. Outside of school, she enjoys playing basketball, watching YouTube, and taking naps.
Rohan Kakhandiki, Staffer
(he/him) Rohan is a sophomore as well as a first-year staffer at the Epic. He enjoys to play guitar and hang out with his friends in his free time.

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    Abhiram BhavarajuDec 11, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    Bravo!
    The spirit of these young gentlemen and gentlewomen is vivacious and nothing short of utterly inspiring. They lead us into the future and even in this economy they remind that hope is yet to come.

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