As he nears his highest rank in the Boy Scout program, Island Trees High School junior Kevin Welsh is using his final project to provide for young students in the district.
Welsh and a team of volunteers from both school and his troop hosted a car wash Sunday where they raised money toward the construction of a reading garden at Stokes Elementary School.
In recent months, Welsh had heard of complaints that the Stokes field was not in the best condition for students to be in. With inspiration from a fellow scout who built a reading garden at the high school, Welsh approached Superintendent of Schools Dr. Charles Murphy with hopes of building something similar.
"The students can't really go outside because of the field," Welsh said, "so they're stuck reading in the class room. On a nice day, to be able to read outside in a circle with their class, that would be really great. I approached the school and they were all for it."
Murphy said the district is very grateful for his efforts and proud of his accomplishment in the Boy Scout program.
"His Eagle Scout project will help beautify Stokes and provide our student a nice place to enjoy reading," said Murphy. "Kevin should be real proud of his accomplishment. Becoming an Eagle Scout is one of the most challenging taks for young people."
Welsh hopes that once he is named an Eagle Scout, he can guide young scouts through their rankings as his instructors did for him.
"I was thinking about quitting back when I was in sixth grade, but I had troop members push me to keep going at it," Welsh said. "I haven't stopped since. Being a Boy Scout has taught me responsibility and leadership, great skills to have."
According to Welsh, the proceeds from the car wash far surpassed the $500 he planned to raise for the garden. Though not confirmed, Welsh is hoping to complete the garden May 19.