After his older brother Diego won a council-level Adams award for his Eagle Scout project of building a search-and-rescue dog training facility, Mateo David Sabio Paese decided his project would make a big impact, too.
“When he won that, I knew I had to do an ambitious project because I wanted to,” says the 17-year-old from Troop 222 in Menlo Park, Calif. “I was open to many different things. I learned to be aware of issues that I could solve myself.”
All Eagle Scout projects make a great impact on communities, but not every project requires two years to complete. Mateo’s family would visit his father’s side of the family in Honduras every couple of years. When Mateo would go, he’d notice soda was a staple in many of the villages — not for a sweet treat, but for simple hydration. The unhealthy drinks cost much less than buying clean water, which would cost some villagers nearly one-fifth of their weekly income.
“Clean water is accessible, but affordable clean water isn’t,” he says.
For his service to helping solve that problem, Mateo received the 2021 Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Service Project of the Year Award for the Western Region.
Adams Award eligibility is determined by when a young person completes their Eagle Scout board of review. For the 2021 awards, eligible Eagle Scouts had to have passed their Eagle board of review between Jan. 1, 2020, and Feb. 8, 2021.
The honor also includes $500 award for future education endeavors or to attend a national or international Scouting event or facility. His council, the Pacific Skyline Council, also receives $500.
A filter fix
Mateo chose to order water filters and build filtration systems using 5-gallon buckets, so villagers could filter water at home. The project began by focusing on a couple of villages where his father knew of people in need. Mateo set up a booth at his church, Trinity Episcopal Parish, and asked for donations after services.
The fundraising, plus a product discount from Sawyer, meant he could expand his original goal of 50 water filtration systems — he could make 75. The additional filters could be distributed in more villages. Word got around, thanks to his father’s childhood church in Honduras, Iglesia Episcopal San Marcos, and people in 14 different villages were identified who could benefit from Mateo’s project.
With large families in some of the villages, he estimates that 75 systems would supply clean, affordable water for about 1,000 people.
Mateo ordered the filters and packed them into two suitcases. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he and his family flew to Honduras during his winter break from school. There, he bought the buckets and met with church and youth group volunteers.
“Using EDGE, I showed them how to drill holes in the buckets and teach others on maintenance,” he says.
Mateo printed instructions in English and Spanish, so villagers could know where they should keep the systems and how often to clean the filters, which should last about three years. He met with all of the recipients, delivering the assembled systems.
“It was very heart-warming; they were very grateful,” Mateo says.
If you know an Eagle Scout whose project is worthy of consideration for the Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year award, please nominate them.
Find a nomination form, judging criteria and more information at this link.
Any Eagle Scout, their parents or any registered BSA volunteer (with the Eagle Scout’s permission) may submit an Eagle Scout service project for consideration. Each council will then nominate one outstanding project to the National Eagle Scout Association.
Here are this year’s council winners, and the regional and national winners are listed below.
|Adams Council Winners||Council|
|Diego M Alanis||Three Harbors Council|
|Gabriel Amidon||LaSalle Council|
|Cooper Auge||Northern Star Council|
|Rebecca Bagby||Greater St Louis Area Council|
|Henry Balogh||Bay-Lakes Council|
|Reagan Barr||Northeast Illinois Council|
|Charles Michael Baul||Heart of America Council|
|Alexander Boyd||Samoset Council|
|Donald Ray Brewer III||Tecumseh Council|
|Tyler Doskocz||Michigan Crossroads Council|
|Ian Clancy Dunn||Great Rivers Council|
|Owen Hollander||Buffalo Trace Council|
|Anthony Joseph||W.D. Boyce Council|
|Peter Morarend||Northeast Iowa Council|
|Joshua C. M. Ostrander||Prairielands Council|
|Paitonne Palmer||Black Hills Area Council|
|Kyle Benjamin Schlieve||Potawatomi Area Council|
|Benjamin Oliver Singleton||Mountaineer Area Council|
|Christopher Taylor||Crossroads of the West Council|
|Caroline Jean White||Simon Kenton Council|
|Nicholas Martin Apa||Northern New Jersey Council|
|Kamil Muhammad Arif||Monmouth Council|
|Timothy Richard Ayers||Mayflower Council|
|Bridget Lee Brady||Patriots’ Path Council|
|Kevin George Bustamante-Valega||Garden State Council|
|Chandler Dameron||Laurel Highlands Council|
|Liam Devlin||Chester County Council|
|Ryan Dupont||Greater Hudson Valley Council|
|Dillon Fink||Del-Mar-Va Council|
|Jack H. Gray||National Capital Area Council|
|Timothy Hantzschel||Suffolk County Council|
|Sebastian Mengwall||Connecticut Yankee Council|
|Kevin James O’Neill||Westchester-Putnam Council (merged with Greater Hudson Valley)|
|Griffin Petry||Jersey Shore Council|
|Saranya Mira Plante||Spirit of Adventure Council|
|Eric Simakaski||Northeastern Pennsylvania Council|
|Richard Toledo||Greater New York Councils|
|Micah Mel Yaw Asante||Chattahoochee Council|
|Adrian Armando Avila||Golden Spread Council|
|Pamela Bullard||Pine Burr Area Council|
|Matthew Cary||Central Florida Council|
|Stewart Atwood Chipman||Old North State Council|
|Cai Clements||Circle Ten Council|
|Benjamin David Gardner||Colonial Virginia Council|
|Shreev Goyal||Capitol Area Council|
|Bradley Hardy||Istrouma Area Council|
|Cale Robert Kruger||South Texas Council|
|Ricardo Noe Lazaro||Alamo Area|
|Dane E. McGraw||North Florida Council|
|Will McKelvey||Greater Alabama Council|
|Ryan Mroch||East Carolina Council|
|Ishaan Narsinghani||Central Georgia Council|
|Kip Conroy Nichols||Last Frontier Council|
|Liam Richardson||Heart of Virginia Council|
|Madelyn Ridley||Indian Waters Council|
|Robert Foster Rouse, Jr.||Piedmont Council|
|Meghan Sheedy||Tidewater Council|
|Gage Montgomery Starks||West Tennessee Area Council|
|Jonathan Cooper Williams||Andrew Jackson Council|
|Devin Alexander Wray||Miami Valley Council|
|Collins Lee Wyatt||Daniel Boone Council|
|Adonis Joseph Zawalich||Greater Tampa Bay Area|
|Mohit Mukund Agrawal||Greater Los Angeles Area Council|
|Abraham Estrada||California Inland Empire Council|
|Ryan Fielding||Aloha Council|
|Nancy Gutziller||Far East Council|
|Ani Mara Der Hovanesian||Orange County Council|
|Dallin Hunt||Longs Peak Council|
|Jeffrey Alan Kenyon||Cascade Pacific Council|
|Ethan Lincoln||Mount Baker Council|
|Joshua Lintner||San Diego Imperial Council|
|Liam Lozano Morin||Blue Mountain Council|
|Jesse Evan Muth||Los Padres Council|
|Michael David Nordin, Jr.||Mountain West Council|
|Adithya Palle||Golden Gate Area Council|
|Parker Pugno||Golden Empire Council|
|Walter Rahmer||Catalina Council|
|Dylan T. Randall||Crater Lake Council|
|Sarah Ross||Chief Seattle Council|
|Leif Peder Darryl Rudling||Ventura County Council|
|John Ryan||Denver Area Council|
|Christopher McKee Smith||Pikes Peak Council|
|Patrick L Venezia||Verdugo Hills|
|Erin Renee Williams||Crossroads of the West Council|
|Michael Rizzardi||Hawk Mountain Council|
|Diego M Alanis||Three Harbors Council|
|Gabriel Amidon||LaSalle Council|
2021 Eagle Scout Projects of the Year
This post is part of our series spotlighting Eagle Scouts who received the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award in 2021. Here are the four winners:
2021 Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award recipients
- National winner (representing the Northeast Region): Christopher Thomas Adam of the New Birth of Freedom Council, who led a team that designed and constructed an educational exhibit about D-Day, the Normandy landings in World War II
- Central Region winner: Logan Goodbred of the Three Fires Council, who led a team that created a memorial for first responders
- Southern Region winner: Hannah Kathryn Bailey of the Middle Tennessee Council, who led a team that installed mile markers and informational kiosks along the Collins River
- Western Region winner: Mateo David Sabio Paese of the Pacific Skyline Council, who led a team that assembled water filtration systems at 14 different villages in Honduras