ARLINGTON, VA – The National Catholic Committee on Scouting has awarded 18-year old Eagle Scout and high school graduate Joseph Lepak of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall a $2,000 college scholarship through the Emmett J. Doerr Memorial Scout Scholarship Fund. Mr. Lepak is one of seven recipients to receive a Doerr scholarship this year. The Office of Evangelization of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), encourages scouting as an effective way to promote a comprehensive approach to Catholic Youth Ministry. The development of leadership skills along with opportunities to grow in faith, through religious emblems and activities, makes scouting a dynamic opportunity for military-connected youth. Mr. Lepak was nominated for the scholarship by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services.
As a military kid, Joseph moved around a lot but the two things that were consistent in his life were Catholic chapels on military posts and scouts, so they both became very important to him. He says, “as a result of my faith and upbringing, I also have an extreme desire to serve others…which many times puts me at odds with my peers who are looking in life to go out and get jobs that will serve themselves and make money…It is very important to me that my legacy and my accomplishments in work, affect others for the better. I want the people of this country–and the world–to be better off due to my actions.”
After his dad retired, Joseph was able to stay in Northern Virginia throughout his high school years. He has held numerous leadership positions in scouting including Senior Patrol Leader, Order of the Arrow (OA) Vice Chief of Finances, Ordeal Master and Area Chief, leading almost 1,000 scouts in five chapters. Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society.
He is also STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activity leader and has been secretary and president of his Venturing Crew. Joseph is currently Junior Assistant Scout Master of Troop 129 in Alexandria, VA. His Eagle Scout Project involved designing and constructing a new tool shed and improving the gardens for the Middle School. He received approval from the city, prepared a budget and raised finances to complete the project. He has been a participant in the 2015 World Scout Jamboree and the Inter-American Scout Jamboree in Ecuador. With his Venturing Crew he attended the National Jamboree in West Virginia, Sea Base Bahamas, and Northern Tier High Adventure. Joseph received several awards including the Dr. Bernard Harris Bronze Supernova Award, designed to introduce and encourage further study of STEM.
Through the AMS, Joseph has earned all four of the Scouts’ religious awards and has served as an altar server, lector, teen leader for vacation Bible School, and he has assisted with clothing and food drives and with the Adult Education Program.
Always wanting to serve, Joseph has worked with many community organizations, including Wreaths Across America, Alexandrians Living Ecumenically, helping to set up and distribute food to low-income families, Scouting for Food, Park Clean-Up, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Meals on Wheels and Metavivor, a cancer survivor fundraiser swim-a-thon.
Academically, Joseph was selected for admission to T.C. Williams STEM Academy and to participate in their Cyber Security Camp. He has received numerous academic awards and represented his school through his science research. He has been active in “The High School Project Plan,” which aims to resolve issues around growing student enrollment and space at his high school. He also recently joined Community for Renewable Energy(CURE). Their mission is to train school staff and inform students about creating eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable schools. Joseph has been accepted at George Mason University and is interested in studying political science.
To be eligible to apply for the Emmett J. Doerr Memorial Scout Scholarship, the Scout must be Catholic, have earned the Ad Altare Dei and/ or Pope Pius XII Awards, and received the Eagle Scout, Summit, or Quartermaster Award. A complete list of award recipients, eligibility requirements and applications can be found online at http://go.pardot.com/e/562582/index-php-college-scholarship/9t9tqd/368477131?h=WFvbc7KXuHimiMcDZ2gKiqn9oJWaSo9EbCXwOR670oo. Emmett J. Doerr Memorial Scholarship recipients have been chosen because they are committed to making a difference for good in the world through service and leadership in four areas: Church, Community, School, and Scouting. These young people are certain to enrich our future.