Last February, Coral Gables High senior Stephan Chamberlin created a vegetable and herb garden at St. Peter and Paul Catholic School for his Boy Scout Eagle project.
“We got it looking pretty and left it there for the kindergarten class (to use for teaching),” he said.
He had 25-28 volunteers help him over a period of two days, almost three days for a total of 544 man hours. Since then, he has gone back a couple of times to check on the garden. He also left the teacher a table full of seeds so the class can maintain the garden.
He chose that project at the request of the kindergarten teacher.
“She gave me a list of things she wanted,” he said. “Initially she wanted a vertical cinder block wall but it ended up being an insurance hazard. We had to change the project on the fly.”
He said they took a 10-minute break to figure out what to do and then got back to work. They took the materials and created two raised cinderblock garden beds instead.
At school, Chamberlin is the editor-in-chief of Highlights.
“This year, it’s been a whole big deal moving from newspaper to news magazine, which I have championed,” he said. “We had to modernize.
If they came for budgets to cut, we wanted to show we were up and on the move.”
Chamberlin has interests outside of school as well. Last year, he participated in the Youth Ambassadors Exchange program sponsored by the
U.S. State Department. He went to Colombia for two-and-a-half weeks, studying non-government-funded community-based projects.
“They took 10 students from six different states and sent them to a foreign country,” he said.
They students were to go back to their communities and start community-based projects. Chamberlin’s project is still in the works.
He already has been accepted to FIU and Embry Riddle. He’s still hoping to get into the Air Force Academy and while it’s a long shot, he has been nominated by Sen. Marco Rubio.