Jason Kim’s scout uniform may not look like shining armor, but he’s done heroic service for the children who get free books from the East Bay Children’s Book Project. The senior at Alamo’s Monte Vista High School donated an amazing 1,724 books as the culmination of his Eagle Project – the last requirement for his Eagle Scout badge.
Jason came to help the East Bay Children’s Book Project through a combination of luck and the Project’s renown. Jason originally planned a book drive closer to home, but when he learned that the local middle school was closed for renovation, he expanded his vision to benefit a broader population. The middle school’s principal suggested the East Bay Children’s Book Project, and Jason’s book drive found a home.
The Eagle Project is a massive endeavor, usually requiring upwards of 300 hours. Jason spent 50 hours planning the book drive over the summer; the scouting board made him specify “every detail of everything,” down to precise information about the boxes he’d use to transport the books.
The actual drive “was easier than I expected – people were happy to help, to do what they could,” says Jason. He involved his scout troop; his high school’s national honor society, of which he is Vice President; and his friends and neighbors. One friend at a print shop, whom Jason asked for a good price on flyers, donated both the flyers and the book boxes. As Jason put it: “Times are tough, and not everyone can give, but people have special talents and there’s always ways that people can help.”
Jason joined the Cub Scouts twelve years ago and has been a boy scout for eight years. “Scouting’s great because there’s always lots you can do, but you can take time off if there are other things you are doing, like sports or school work.” After graduation, Jason hopes to attend Stanford University. He’s not sure what he’ll study in college, but he doesn’t think he’ll follow in the footsteps of his engineer parents.
At the end of November, Jason will go before the scouting board to discuss his completed project and, we assume, receive the coveted Eagle Scout badge. But he’s already our hero.