Scout earns Eagle rank brick by brick
Olentangy Liberty grad's Eagle Scout project: new brick patio at alma mater
Bricks engraved with the words Keep Making Beautiful Music, School of Rock and Go Patriots make up a new patio area outside the entrance of Olentangy Liberty High School.
But one large brick tells the story of how the new outdoor space came to be: Legacy Paver Patio Dedicated to LMBA by Evan Joseph.
Joseph, who graduated from Liberty in May, built the paver patio this summer to earn his Eagle Scout rank.
"I dedicated it to the Liberty Music Boosters (Association) because it's a program that has done so much for me," said Joseph, who played saxophone in the marching band for three years and was the field commander his senior year.
To raise funds for the project construction and for the booster group, he sold patio bricks that could be engraved by the purchaser. By partnering with the boosters, passing out order forms at school and promoting the project through the Patriot Parent online program, he was able to sell 43 bricks and raise about $4,500.
Six months after beginning the project, Joseph, along with his family, friends and fellow Troop 428 members, began construction on the patio. They worked weekends beginning in June and wrapped up July 16.
"I definitely had a lot of help along the way," Joseph said. "I couldn't have done it without them."
Helpers included David Newcomer, who owns Newcomer Concrete Services, and Craig Schweitzer, president and CEO of Mr. Mulch and Outdoor Living. They first met Joseph about six years ago when his parents, Seth and Diane, led efforts to create an outdoor education area and similar paver space at Tyler Run Elementary School.
In addition to both businessmen offering Joseph their expertise throughout the project, Newcomer donated about $450 worth of concrete and Schweitzer put about $3,000 into the bricks that his company donated.
"I've got two children in the Olentangy local school system and this was an experience that could teach them about working to give back," Newcomer said.
"I absolutely love giving back and this project is special because you can pass it on to the youth," Schweitzer added.
Superintendent Wade Lucas said the community partnerships Joseph made through the project reflect the district's goals to keep students engaged with the world outside the classroom.
"We don't have very many Eagle Scouts because it's a lot of hard work and dedication that needs to be put forth, so we're very proud to have such great examples of our school system and our community," Lucas said.
On Aug. 7, Joseph's efforts earned him the approval of a Boy Scouts of America review board, which presented him with his Eagle Scout award.
"It was a culmination of my entire Scouts experience," said Joseph, who joined when he was 6 years old. "I never thought I'd be at that moment, so it was a relief and a big achievement."
Joseph said he'd always planned on completing the required project to earn the Eagle Scout rank, and he was reassured of his decision when he traveled to New Mexico to stay at the Philmont Scout Ranch last summer.
He also has a trip to a youth leadership camp called Nagatamen on his scouting resume. After attending the camp, he was asked to return as a course leader.
Once he gets settled into college life at Ohio State University, where he'll begin studying for a double major in psychology and criminology this month, Joseph said he'd like to become a troop leader. He said getting back into marching by trying out for the Ohio State band also could be part of his future.
No matter where he ends up, he said his experience leading up to his status as an Eagle Scout has taught him how to succeed by planning ahead, staying calm under pressure and, most importantly, becoming a leader.
"I like to pay it forward," he said. "Being in a leadership role allows you to do that and teach young people to do the same."