Fourteen-year-old African-American teen named Eagle Scout

By Al Pefley - email

Loxahatchee, FL (WFLX) - A Loxahatchee teen is making a difference and getting a rare honor.

He's one of only a few African-Americans to become an Eagle Scout, scouting's highest honor.

To reach his goal Simeon Lyons, 14, organized a landscaping project to beautify the grounds of his school, Osceola Creek Middle School. He also wrote papers about a variety of topics such as first aid, citizenship and government, space exploration and personal money management. He says it took him about three years to complete all the steps needed to become an Eagle Scout.

In May 2008 Simeon got area nurseries to donate $600 worth of mulch and plants and the school kicked in another $250 to buy additional plants. Then, he and members of Scout Troop 120 and several adults spent about six hours on a Saturday putting in the plants and mulch in the school's courtyard.

Simeon says nationally, only a fraction of all African-American scouts attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

He hopes that he will be a model to others. "I think it's like a stepping stone for other African-Americans, and kids of other races. I hope it will help them to push on."

Simeon got his Eagle Scout patch a few weeks ago but will receive a certificate at a ceremony tonight involving his troop.

He now attends Royal Palm Beach High, where he just finished ninth grade.

His father says it's very unusual for a boy, who's just 14, to reach the level of Eagle Scout. He says most boys who become Eagle Scouts don't get there until they're 17 or 18.

He also told us Simeon is the first black in his scout troop of about 50 guys to become an Eagle Scout.