For most students, high school is a time for academic and social growth. For students at Xavier High School, it's also a time for service and leadership. Sean O'Sullivan ’26, Holden Riley ’24, and Joshua Raj ’25 have all achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.
Each of them completed a unique project that showcased their passion and dedication to serving their communities.
In order to become an Eagle Scout, one must earn at least 21 merit badges. Becoming an Eagle Scout is so rare that only about six percent of all Scouts earn the distinction. An Eagle Scout must demonstrate Scout Spirit; an ideal attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This culminates an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. These Eagle Projects offer an opportunity for a Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of any religious institution, school, or community.
Sean O'Sullivan, a member of Troop 32 in Southington, completed his Eagle Project in November of 2023. He built a Chicken Coop at DePaolo Middle School in Southington, where he went to school. Sean wanted to give back to the place that prepared him for Xavier, and his project created a learning space for students in DePaolo's Animal Leadership program. This program teaches students the responsibility that comes with caring for farm animals.
Holden Riley, a member of Troop 39 from Marlborough, completed his Eagle Project in May of 2023. For his project, Holden designed and built a multi-purpose gaming table with under table storage that could hold terrain for wargames and roleplaying games. He also designed, built, and painted the useable terrain for the accompanying games on the table. His beneficiary is the East Hampton Park and Recreation Department. Holden's project promotes creativity and critical thinking skills and positively impacts his community by bringing youth and adults to public areas to engage socially.
Joshua Raj, a member of Troop 138 from Naugatuck, completed his Eagle project in May of 2022. He created four fishing areas around Hop Brook Lake in Middlebury and installed two fishing line recycling receptacles. Joshua chose this project, which benefited the Army Corps of Engineers, because Hop Brook Lake is near his home, and he has visited it frequently since his childhood. Joshua noticed that fishing lines were found thrown on the ground or in the water. This harms the fish and the other local wildlife, a problem compounded by the small size of the body of water. His project helped restore the fishing spots that were eroded by the rain.
Each of these students had a different journey to the Scouts and Xavier High School, but their passion and dedication to service bond them. Sean joined Boy Scouts as a continuation from Cub Scouts to spend more time camping and hiking outside and to learn the many useful skills that come from participation in the program. Holden joined to learn life skills and to gain leadership experience to leave a positive impact on those around him.
Like Sean, Joshua started with Cub Scouts. “Back then it was a great outdoor activity and I made lots of friends. When I crossed over to the Boy Scouts during fifth grade, I found that Boy Scouts offered lots more than outdoor activities. It taught wilderness survival and introduced tons of hobbies and lots of professions. So far, I have earned 131 merit badges and numerous awards. It also taught me the importance and value of community service.”
These students are not alone in their pursuit of the Eagle Scout rank. Xavier has a handful of Falcons that are working towards earning the honor.
The Eagle Scout rank is a prestigious achievement that requires dedication and perseverance.
The efforts and achievements of our Eagle Scouts have not gone unnoticed. Xavier High School is proud to have young men like them who embody the school's mission to develop young men of faith, integrity, and service in the image of Christ.