Eagle Scout Alex Sims is all about helping other people.
He participates in Scouting for Food drives. He volunteers to clean up his school and his community. And each month, he and some buddies head to the library to teach science to younger students.
But the service project closest to Alex’s heart is the not-for-profit organization he started to honor his late twin brother, Christopher.
Christopher took his own life in 2014 when he was just 14 years old. Christopher’s Angels is a program to help combat bullying and teen suicide.
In recognition of Alex’s selflessness and service — plus his academic success and future college plans — the National Eagle Scout Association awarded him the 2017 NESA STEM scholarship.
At $50,000 ($12,500 a year for four years), it is NESA’s largest scholarship. It is awarded each year to an applicant who plans to major in a science, technology, engineering or math field.
More about Alex
Alexander Sims is a member of Troop 772 out of Richmond, Va.
He earned 119 merit badges — many with a direct connection to STEM fields. He was the first Scout in the Heart of Virginia Council to earn the Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Award. And now he’s hard at work on the Thomas Edison Supernova Award.
In college, he’ll study chemical or mechanical engineering “because I find molecules and chemistry really interesting,” he says.
He’s also a member of his school’s robotics team.
Service before self
“Scouting has taught me the importance of service to the community,” Alex says.
In addition to a significant amount of service hours with Troop 772, Alex spends a ton of time working with Christopher’s Angels.
The mission of Christopher’s Angels is simple: On the 22nd of each month, “Angels” perform a random good deed or friendly act. This could be as simple as saying hello to a stranger or joining someone who is eating alone in the lunchroom.
“The idea is that these good deeds, however small, add up to make a difference in the community,” Alex says.
Another way Alex gives back is by helping bring young people into the BSA.
“I want to see more kids enjoy all the benefits that I’ve received,” he says. “In fact, one of the patches I’m most proud about is the recruiter patch.”
That explains how Alex (with some assistance from his leaders), helped his troop go from 20 to more than 60 Scouts.
In August, Alex is off to college, where his STEM-heavy courseload will keep him busy.
“But as I grow older, I want to stay involved in Scouting,” he says. “Because it’s changed my life, and I want to see it change others.”
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