The next time you hear someone complain about young people – how obsessed they are with their computer games and cell phones, how little they do to make life better for others, how poorly they are prepared for the future, pass on this story.
The Ruth M Smith Center lifts up the work of high school junior Eric Pierson with gratitude, and hopes others adopt the example of service that he models.
Eric has spent considerable time the past couple of years working at what is required to become an Eagle Scout. The Eagle Scout Rank is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America. Since the inception of the Eagle Scout award in 1912, only 2.01% of eligible scouts have earned Scouting's highest honor.
Requirements include earning a number of merit badges and demonstrating Scout spirit, service, and leadership, including an extensive service project. The Smith Center Board is grateful that Eric decided on a project that impacts not only the Smith Center facility, but our ministry to children and youth in the Sheffield area – renovating the gymnasium floor.
Sheffield elementary students use the high school gym for their basketball games, but have no gym for their practices. They use the Smith Center gym. High school students who want to use a gym to “get in shape” before the regular season begins often use the Smith Center gym. With much use and little concerted upkeep, the gym has become more and more shabby looking.
Enter Sheffield High School Junior Eric Pierson looking for a project to complete the requirements for his Eagle Scout quest. Ideal projects require planning, organizing, and leading other volunteers. So far Eric has put 208 hours into this project. 35 volunteers have assisted him. (Over half the scouts from Sheffield have used that gym, so many of them became his volunteers.) With a discount from Howes, over $850 has been spent on the floor.
The Sports Boosters made a hefty donation of $500 seed money for a spaghetti dinner at the Sheffield Senior Center on September 29. Eric and his volunteers made and served over 150 meals and raised over $1200 to cover the expense of painting the gym floor and other gym improvements. Scouts were at the gymnasium to allow others to see the finished project.
Eric Pierson attends the Career Center of Warren High School for electronics and hopes to attend trade school to continue his education in that field after graduation. He plays trumpet in the Sheffield Marching Band, has performed at Smith Center and Nursing homes in Warren County with the Warren Youth Connection and is a member of the Barnes United Methodist Church.
We salute this incredible young man and all the volunteers who dedicated time to complete this project.