“The value of what Mike is doing for us is huge,” said Anne Allen, principal at Laurel Elementary. “And the funny part is that the project he chose, he felt wasn’t big enough. But for us, especially at this time with the budget and everything, it’s really big for us. He’s done a beautiful job.”
Mike’s take on the project is a little less verbose. “It’s been a pretty cool thing,” said the Freedom High School senior. “When I chose my project, I wanted to do something to give back to Oakley, to my community, to make it more local. So I went to Laurel, since I went to school there. It was fun to go back and I’m glad I was able to help.”
The job that Mike took on for his Eagle Scout project was constructing two new equipment boxes for the kindergarten playground. Complete with screens in the bottom to weed out sand and dirt, the current boxes are 15 years old and beginning to show their age. The new boxes will provide plenty of room for balls and other outdoor toys.
Mike also built four bookshelves for the school library, which little by little has been running out of book space. Lightweight and portable, the bookshelves will fit on top of existing shelves, making room for additional books.
But there’s more. Not wanting to leave the new shelves bookless, Mike hosted a fundraiser for Laurel Elementary at Barnes & Noble last week, raising nearly $500 for the school. His plan is to sit down with the school librarian for suggestions and then purchase the books himself.
“I can say is that it was a very successful book fair and everyone here at Barnes & Noble enjoyed hosting his book fair,” said Shannon Skinner, community relations manager for Barnes & Noble in Antioch. “Mike is a very inspirational young man and we are very impressed with all that he has accomplished.”
All in a days work for the young 17-year-old who comes by his scouting talents naturally. Both his father and older brother are Eagle Scouts. Mike, who is a member of Oakley Troop 298, expects to be completed and signed off on his Laurel School project within a couple of weeks, and can then look forward to an Eagle Court of Honor and high school graduation in the next few months.
“We’re in pretty good shape (regarding the Laurel project),” said Mike. “The Eagle project was fun and challenging and a good experience. I’m also happy to be graduating. Life is good; it’s all good.”