Teen of the Week: No task too large for Waterford teen to tackle

Photo submitted by Russell Young and Shirley Doak.

He may be known by peers for his contributions on the court or in the field, but in his community he’s also known as a hard worker and a leader.

Russell Young, 16, of Waterford, not only plays basketball and baseball, he’s also wrapping up his years as a Scout and completed his Eagle Scout project just before the school year started.

“I’m proud of him and what he does,” said his grandmother, Shirley Doak. “You don’t really have to worry about him and he took on a mammoth project that many, many people worked with him on because he coordinated all of that.”

Young said service and hard work have been instilled in him since he was very young. And after almost a decade as a scout, he’s just finishing up his final requirements to complete the program.

Question: So what was your Eagle Scout project and how did you get it started?

Answer: Well, my aunt Janice is on the Waterford Elementary (Parent Teacher Organization) and she suggested that I take on the playground as my project.

The PTO had actually done the financing and planning long-term of the project but when they looked at the cost to have the company install the equipment that would have cost them another $12,000.

So when my aunt suggested it to me I thought it was a great idea.

To start it there was a lot of planning involved and I had to talk with the (Wolf Creek) Board of Education and talk with the superintendent about the plan and where I wanted to arrange everything.

Then on Serve Waterford Day in May I had students and teachers out helping me take down and cut out the old playground and the township helped by digging out the concrete at the bottom of the poles.

Then on June 10 we began the construction of everything but the instructions for putting the pieces together were very vague so we needed to strategize and get some creative minds in there to figure it out.

Scott Lang, he’s an engineer, he helped me with that.

Q: How many people in all helped you with the project and what did you have them do?

A: In all, close to 25 people helped with the labor on the project and another 10 worked in the background with planning and helping me make contacts. And the PTO brought food during the main construction day too. I had probably half of the businesses in Waterford involved. Then later my grandfather and my neighbor Jerry Beardmore helped me iron out the final kinks before school started.

Q: What did you learn from the project?

A: Well, when you have that many people working on a project with all of that experience you have many different ideas on how things need to be done. I learned how to discipline myself to stick to my plan and lead people down the direction I was looking at. I think that leadership will help me later on in life now.

Q: Eagle Scout projects aren’t required to be completed until you’re 18, so why get it done so early?

A: My dad was an Eagle Scout too but he didn’t have his final board of review until the day before his (18th) birthday. I just didn’t want to put it off, I wanted to get it done and it’s great to give back to others that have helped you. I’ve always been raised to put others first and be available to help.

Q: When you’re not building playgrounds and coordinating projects what are you up to?

A: I play basketball and baseball and we’ve done a summer league of basketball but really mowing is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. It really clears my mind and I enjoy the work.

Q: What are your plans after high school?

A: My plan right now is to go into the (Ohio)State Highway Patrol like my grandfather. But you can’t join them until you’re 21 so before that maybe the military in between.

This interview was conducted by Janelle Patterson.

If you have a nomination for Teen of the Week, email the student’s name and contact information to news@mariettatimes.com. This feature appears each Wednesday.

Russell Young

¯ Age: 16.

¯ Grade: 11.

¯ School: Waterford High School.

¯ Family: Mother and father Jennifer and Bill Young, sister Denise, grandparents Roger and Shirley Doak and Marilyn Young and the late Ronald Young.

¯ Hobbies: Basketball, baseball and mowing.

¯ Future plans: To become a trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, following in the law enforcement footsteps of his grandfather.