Washburn’s Jimenez earns Eagle Scout rank
March 2, 2016
A lifetime Washburn resident earned the highest rank in Boy Scouts, the Eagle Scout rank, and celebrated with a ceremony last Wednesday, February 24. Earning the rank is a high honor because of all of the work involved.
Alejandro Jimenez, known to most as Alex, is a senior at Southwest High School and has been involved with Scouts since he was eight years old. Alex lives in Washburn with his two younger siblings, Rachel and Bryan, and his parents, Marisela and Prudencio. He also has an older sister, Liliana. All of whom were in attendance at his Eagle Scout ceremony last Wednesday.
The journey to Eagle Scout isn’t one to be taken lightly. Many boys start as Alex did, as a Cub Scout, and move their way up through scouts. At the end, the rankings build up to the ultimate achievement of Eagle Scout. Most Boy Scouts don’t make it through the rigorous process to get there, but with hard work and dedication, Alex did.
Becoming an Eagle Scout means earning 21 different merit badges, taking an active leadership role in the troop and completing a community service project with a certain number of volunteer hours involved. All of the work has to be completed before the Scout turns 18.
Alex said the most difficult part in the process was the time element. He said, “The time dedication is exorbitant. Starting out, one wouldn’t realize the amount of time you have to put into Scouting.”
And it isn’t all fun either. Alex shared, “I feel that there are merit badges that were not enjoyable or not in my interests, but they are important to being well-rounded.”
Of the 21 merit badges he had to earn, rock climbing and the law badges were his favorites. He said, “I’m interested in pursuing a law degree. As far as the law merit badge, my favorite part was the mock trial where I got to participate. It was a lot of fun.”
The community service project that Alex chose was a landscaping project at the True Love Cemetery, which lies next to his house. With the help of a landscaping specialist, Alex planned and completed the project last May. His efforts coordinated around 30 people and 250 volunteer hours to completely landscape the east border of the cemetery.
The cemetery project helped Alex advance himself as a Scout but also in a more applicable way. He said, “I think I’ve become a better communicator because of Scouting. When I was in the donation phase of my project, I had to go out and ask businesses for donations. I’ve come out of my shell, and I’m more of an extroverted person because of it. I talk to different people, and I’ve met a lot of different people and I feel like I’ve become a better leader, not only of other people, but also of myself.”
After graduation in May, Alex is going on to college to become a civil rights lawyer. H even had an interview with Harvard University in January. His current plans are to attend Brigham Young University but will go Ivy League if they offer him a spot.
It isn’t just dedication to Scouting or his church that put Alex on the path that he is on; it’s dedication to all areas of his life. His father, Prudencio, said, “He works very hard for everything he does. He studies hard. Sometimes I think even too hard.”
Dedicating himself so fully to Boy Scouts was partially driven by his church, the Cassville Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and also his former Scout Master who led him through almost all of his time in Boy Scout Troop 977. Alex shared, “My former scout master, Jamie Grace, had the largest impact on my life in scouting. He was the person who would be an example to me. He wouldn’t push me just to finish or get a merit badge, but he would lead by example, as well. He is someone I grew close to because of that. I pursued scouting because of him.”
Once awarded his ranking, Alex chose to give one of his three Eagle pins to Grace. The other two were pinned to his mother and father.
Alex attributes his parents’ guidance to his success. He said, “My parents have been ones who step back and let me be in charge of my own leadership. They never pressured me to act a certain way or do something unless it was my decision. They stepped back and let me find myself.”
What Alex found in himself is something both he and his parents can be proud of. His father said, “We’re very proud of him. When he commits to something, he does it. He’s just excellent at everything. It’s the way he is.”