The path toward earning Eagle Scout is different for every Scout that travels down it. Some face truly unique challenges in their pursuit of excellence.
One such Scout is Michael S., of the Boy Scouts of America Westmoreland-Fayette Council, who, along with several other students, was a victim of a mass stabbing that took place at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, in 2014.
The crime, perpetrated by another student at the high school, captured national attention and placed many of the victims, some injured severely, in a spotlight they never sought.
Dealing with the fallout of being injured during something like a mass stabbing is unimaginable for most people. Add in the pressures of completing high school and the everyday complications of simply being a teenager, and the idea that someone facing all of that would be able to go on and complete an Eagle Scout project might seem nearly impossible.
Perhaps it was that very challenge that drove Michael to forge ahead and complete his Eagle journey. Indeed, moving forward with his project and refusing to allow victimhood to define him may have even played a key role in helping him process and overcome being injured during the mass stabbing.
“He was rather quiet after the incident, and he didn’t come around for a while after it, which is expected considering what he’d gone through,” said Scoutmaster Gary McClelland. “But he came back and hit it just as strong as before.”
Michael redoubled his efforts, gathered a team of Scouts and family and worked on a project that mapped the headstones at a local cemetery so that the information could be provided to the church where the cemetery was located as well as to a website that helps people track down genealogy information. The project required the mapping of more than 1,500 headstones and the creation of a grid for the cemetery.
At his court of honor, Michael said, “I think it’s another phase in my life. I’ve overcome an arduous challenge, and I think it represents me moving on to a better future.”
To read more about Michael’s incredible story of overcoming the challenges associated with being attacked in a mass stabbing, be sure to read the whole article at TribLive.com.