COMMUNITY SERVICE NEWS
12 ESD seniors recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout, many spending the majority of their scouting career together in the same troop. Remarkably, 12 translates to nearly one out of every four boys in the Class of 2019 earning the rank. Comparatively, approximately six percent of all scouts go on to achieve this prestigious honor.
Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the BoyScouts of America. In order to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, these students completed all of the qualifications such as earning a specified number of merit badges, providing references, and completing a service project. Not only are they proficient in skills such as citizenship, swimming, and emergency preparedness, these students are also skilled in building decks, constructing eco-friendly garden boxes, and installing bike repair stations.
"During the project, I learned to adapt when things go wrong. The project gave me a chance to use the leadership skills I had learned through my years in scouting," said one Eagle Scout who volunteered at Operation Kindness, the largest no-kill animal shelter in North Texas.
"Completing my project had been a goal that I set for myself when I first became a Scout," said another, who volunteered at Cornerstone Crossroads Academy. "The reason I chose the project I did was because cars had been causing damage to the school's sports field and surrounding walking track as well as posing a threat to the students. I'm proud that I was able to combat this issue and make a difference for such a fantastic and deserving school."
"It was a very rewarding experience being able to help others by building something with our hands. This experience allowed me to organize and lead my peers which was invaluable to my Boy Scout experience," said another.
Congratulations on this outstanding achievement, Eagles! We are so proud of your hard work and dedication.
Over the Thanksgiving break this year, seven ESD students traveled to Costa Rica to build Homes of Hope alongside Middle School science teacher Ellen Neill. Homes for Hope is an international organization dedicated to "bringing hope to thousands of impoverished families." This is the third year that ESD has participated in this service project.
These Eagles helped build a home - and furnish it - in just two days. Arriving on Friday, the group worked all day Saturday and Sunday to complete the project before returning to Dallas on Monday. They also took families to a grocery store, a place many of them have never visited before, to purchase groceries and other household items to accompany the furniture they are also given to complete the build. The entire project is funded completely on donations.
"This is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life," said Ellen Neill. "These families go from living on a dirt floor to having an actual home in the span of a weekend. It makes you think about how blessed we are."
We are so proud of these Eagles for all their hard work and service both in our community and abroad!
Ceramics students created bowls for a community service project during our Admissions Preview earlier this month. These thrown and glazed bowls will be donated to the Empty Bowls fundraiser in the spring. All proceeds from the Empty Bowls Project will benefit the North Texas Food Bank.
Ceramics Students from L to R: Stephanie Pfister '22, Avery Vafa '22, Cleo Neuhoff '21, Maddie Tong '19, Hadley
Smith '20, Caleb Ainsworth '21, William Turner '19, Ryan Ainsworth '22.
As a founding member of the Students Shoulder to Shoulder Global Schools Coalition, ESD is working to make ethics "not just a classroom matter" but something that its students live out in their every day lives. Earlier this month, ESD was visited by Sonam Sherpa, one of the leaders of The Small World, a project designed to empower and educate orphaned girls in Nepal, and liaison for the Shoulder to Shoulder program in Nepal. Her visit is one of many to ESD as a result of our partnership with Shoulder to Shoulder, providing updates and testimonial on her work through this global partnership.
Students Shoulder to Shoulder was founded to create "effective global citizens," providing students "direct experience engaging their intellects, curiosity, and senses of obligation by working with organizations [to address] fundamental issues related to endemic poverty." Through the program, high school students learn first-hand about different cultures and communities while partnering with local organizations to make an impact on the community they are serving. These trips are community originated programs that students are supporting, or ideas derived from the community itself that our students participate in, which creates a more sustainable impact than outsider derived service programs. Students who return from courses then have opportunities to teach our ESD community about the global problems and solutions they experienced in their specific course.
Since creating the partnership in 2011, ESD has sent approximately 50 students and five teachers to communities both domestic and abroad. Former student Lauren Griffin '13 also serves on the Shoulder to Shoulder Board of Directors. Upon her reflection of her experience through the program, SStS course instructor and Assistant Head of Middle School Meg Fahrenbrook '01 said, "Three of ESD's Founding Tenets are community, ethical decision making, and service. After having experienced the Nepal course, I am in awe of how Shoulder to Shoulder blends those three tenets into every facet of the course. Shoulder to Shoulder has the potential to be an extension of our core values and a way for our students to put those core values into action."
Sonam's talk with students last month gave insight on her course in Nepal, how they are partnering with the program to make a sustainable impact on their community, and how students can become involved in this course and others through Students Shoulder to Shoulder. ESD students are encouraged to become involved in this global service program and act out our core values.
It is always encouraging to see students representing our Founding Tenet of Service to Others, both at home and away. Well done, Eagles!