It seems like it was just yesterday that my little boy came home from elementary school and asked me if he could join Cub Scouts.
I remember calling the Bay Area Council office. When I asked how much the uniforms would cost me, I had to rethink this idea. I was a single mom and really just couldn’t afford it.
It wasn’t until the beginning of his junior year in high school that I met a man named Donnie Rouse while I was at work. I told him it just wasn’t in our budget, and he assured me that there was some assistance through his troop and they could help us.
My son attended the first meeting and truly wanted to be a part of this experience. He had several friends who were in other troops. After attending that meeting, he found he already knew some in this troop.
Since most boys begin their journey in their younger years, they already have achieved and moved forward as scheduled for this journey. My son joined, and becoming an Eagle might have been out of reach because there was just not enough time for him. You must make Eagle before your 18th birthday. The highest achievement is becoming an Eagle.
After telling his Scoutmaster he wanted to become an Eagle, they had to sit down and look at a calendar. He would have until the week of his 18th birthday. He earned exactly the required 21 merit badges.
In August, he was approved by the University of Texas Medical Branch and Dr. David Callender to complete his Eagle project on the campus. He chose to restore gardens lost by Hurricane Ike and dedicated it in memory of his grandmother, Dorothy M. Lusby, who was the first female to become a licensed plumber at the medical branch.
Our family could not have been more proud of him. To honor our mother was something none of us could have ever imagined.
In October during his senior year, he completed the gardens, which was a requirement to becoming an Eagle scout. They are at 13th and Mechanic streets.
The project must be something that is for the community. His story that is on his grandmother’s monument reads: “Her story gives hope and encouragement to all that no matter what age or gender you are, it is never too late to achieve your goals. Just believe.”
On Dec. 12, my son James Michael Lusby-Garcia was awarded his Eagle rank. He was even happier to know he was a Centennial Eagle — 100 years of Eagle Scouting — on a date and day we will all remember, 12-12-12.
I think his story and journey alone was that of an Eagle project. He set his goal. He worked hard to accomplish it.
More so, he is an example to all young men and boys in our community that it is never too late to achieve your goal. Just believe.