William Stroshine, 17, says he has always liked to help other people.
"It makes me feel good," he said.
William has demonstrated that in more ways than one.
He is putting the final touches on his Eagle project, one of the final requirements for the rank of Eagle. He has chosen to design and build a gazebo on the property of the Lutheran Homes Society, which offers assisted and independent living for seniors, as well as group homes and supportive services for youth. The Oregon Career and Technology Center is also on the property.
The gazebo will be constructed from scratch and will be built using solar energy from a "solar house" built by the Stroshine family.
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The house has solar panels on its roof and has outlets that William will use to plug in his tools to build the gazebo.
"With a gazebo, you're out in nature, but you still have shelter," he said.
His mother, Sandra, 42, is a teacher at the Continuing and Adult Education center for the Oregon City Schools, serves as assistant scoutmaster for Troop 131, and was a Girl Scout when she was younger.
She achieved the Gold Award, the Girl Scout equivalent to Eagle Scout ranking, and encouraged her son to create an environmentally friendly project.
To develop an Eagle project, the scout must locate a need in the community, write a plan and get it approved by troop leaders, raise the necessary funds, complete the project, and then report back to the Erie Shores Council, which over-
sees most of the Boy Scout troops in northwest Ohio, about the results of the project.
In addition to completing his Eagle Project, William must earn 21 life badges,
He funded his project by getting support from his friends and family.
Gladieux Lumber and Supply Company in Oregon gave him a discount for his materials, and Kroger and The Andersons also made donations.
Mr. Stroshine said his entire project cost about $1,200.
Mr. Stroshine of Oregon has been involved in Boy Scouts since he was 6 years old when he was a Tiger Cub, the lowest ranking.
"When I was a kid, my mom thought it would be a good thing for me to do in my free time," he laughed.
"Being an Eagle Scout is also a huge honor," he added.
William has been the Troop Chaplain for the past four years, leading the troop in prayers and worship services and providing spiritual and emotional guidance to fellow troop members.
"I'm like the counselor to all my friends," he said.
William graduated from Clay High School in June and plans to study theology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.
He hopes to be a minister in a church.
Michael Zalar, superintendent of Oregon City Schools and an Eagle Scout himself, said William is "an extremely responsible young man."
"He just cares about people. That's his best attribute. He's very service-oriented and he always puts others before himself," he said.
Mr. Zalar also praised the young man's work in the humanities program, an honors program for Clay High School students that promotes critical thinking.
"He's demonstrated a lot of leadership skills in school," Mr. Zalar said.
William hopes to complete his gazebo next weekend and will have all his Eagle Scout requirements completed by early August.
In his spare time, he enjoys riding motorcycles with his family, spending time outdoors, camping, hiking, fishing, walking his golden retrievers, and visiting national parks, especially Yellowstone.
But above all, it's his kindness that defines him.
"I just love helping people," William said.