After his older brother Diego won a council-level Adams award for his Eagle Scout project of building a search-and-rescue dog training facility, Mateo David Sabio Paese decided his project would make a big impact, too.

“When he won that, I knew I had to do an ambitious project because I wanted to,” says the 17-year-old from Troop 222 in Menlo Park, Calif. “I was open to many different things. I learned to be aware of issues that I could solve myself.”

All Eagle Scout projects make a great impact on communities, but not every project requires two years to complete. Mateo’s family would visit his father’s side of the family in Honduras every couple of years. When Mateo would go, he’d notice soda was a staple in many of the villages — not for a sweet treat, but for simple hydration. The unhealthy drinks cost much less than buying clean water, which would cost some villagers nearly one-fifth of their weekly income.

“Clean water is accessible, but affordable clean water isn’t,” he says.

For his service to helping solve that problem, Mateo received the 2021 Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Service Project of the Year Award for the Western Region.

Adams Award eligibility is determined by when a young person completes their Eagle Scout board of review. For the 2021 awards, eligible Eagle Scouts had to have passed their Eagle board of review between Jan. 1, 2020, and Feb. 8, 2021.

The honor also includes $500 award for future education endeavors or to attend a national or international Scouting event or facility. His council, the Pacific Skyline Council, also receives $500.

A filter fix

Mateo chose to order water filters and build filtration systems using 5-gallon buckets, so villagers could filter water at home. The project began by focusing on a couple of villages where his father knew of people in need. Mateo set up a booth at his church, Trinity Episcopal Parish, and asked for donations after services.

The fundraising, plus a product discount from Sawyer, meant he could expand his original goal of 50 water filtration systems — he could make 75. The additional filters could be distributed in more villages. Word got around, thanks to his father’s childhood church in Honduras, Iglesia Episcopal San Marcos, and people in 14 different villages were identified who could benefit from Mateo’s project.

With large families in some of the villages, he estimates that 75 systems would supply clean, affordable water for about 1,000 people.

Mateo ordered the filters and packed them into two suitcases. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he and his family flew to Honduras during his winter break from school. There, he bought the buckets and met with church and youth group volunteers.

“Using EDGE, I showed them how to drill holes in the buckets and teach others on maintenance,” he says.

Mateo printed instructions in English and Spanish, so villagers could know where they should keep the systems and how often to clean the filters, which should last about three years. He met with all of the recipients, delivering the assembled systems.

“It was very heart-warming; they were very grateful,” Mateo says.

Council awards

If you know an Eagle Scout whose project is worthy of consideration for the Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year award, please nominate them.

Find a nomination form, judging criteria and more information at this link.

Any Eagle Scout, their parents or any registered BSA volunteer (with the Eagle Scout’s permission) may submit an Eagle Scout service project for consideration. Each council will then nominate one outstanding project to the National Eagle Scout Association.

Here are this year’s council winners, and the regional and national winners are listed below.

Adams Council WinnersCouncil
Diego M AlanisThree Harbors Council
Gabriel AmidonLaSalle Council
Cooper AugeNorthern Star Council
Rebecca BagbyGreater St Louis Area Council
Henry BaloghBay-Lakes Council
Reagan BarrNortheast Illinois Council
Charles Michael BaulHeart of America Council
Alexander BoydSamoset Council
Donald Ray Brewer IIITecumseh Council
Tyler DoskoczMichigan Crossroads Council
Ian Clancy DunnGreat Rivers Council
Owen HollanderBuffalo Trace Council
Anthony JosephW.D. Boyce Council
Peter MorarendNortheast Iowa Council
Joshua C. M. OstranderPrairielands Council
Paitonne PalmerBlack Hills Area Council
Kyle Benjamin SchlievePotawatomi Area Council
Benjamin Oliver SingletonMountaineer Area Council
Christopher TaylorCrossroads of the West Council
Caroline Jean WhiteSimon Kenton Council
Nicholas Martin ApaNorthern New Jersey Council
Kamil Muhammad ArifMonmouth Council
Timothy Richard AyersMayflower Council
Bridget Lee BradyPatriots’ Path Council
Kevin George  Bustamante-ValegaGarden State Council
Chandler DameronLaurel Highlands Council
Liam DevlinChester County Council
Ryan DupontGreater Hudson Valley Council
Dillon FinkDel-Mar-Va Council
Jack H. GrayNational Capital Area Council
Timothy HantzschelSuffolk County Council
Sebastian MengwallConnecticut Yankee Council
Kevin James O’NeillWestchester-Putnam Council (merged with Greater Hudson Valley)
Griffin PetryJersey Shore Council
Saranya Mira PlanteSpirit of Adventure Council
Eric SimakaskiNortheastern Pennsylvania Council
Richard ToledoGreater New York Councils
Micah Mel Yaw AsanteChattahoochee Council
Adrian Armando AvilaGolden Spread Council
Pamela BullardPine Burr Area Council
Matthew CaryCentral Florida Council
Stewart Atwood ChipmanOld North State Council
Cai ClementsCircle Ten Council
Benjamin David GardnerColonial Virginia Council
Shreev GoyalCapitol Area Council
Bradley HardyIstrouma Area Council
Cale Robert KrugerSouth Texas Council
Ricardo Noe LazaroAlamo Area
Dane E. McGrawNorth Florida Council
Will McKelveyGreater Alabama Council
Ryan MrochEast Carolina Council
Ishaan NarsinghaniCentral Georgia Council
Kip Conroy NicholsLast Frontier Council
Liam RichardsonHeart of Virginia Council
Madelyn RidleyIndian Waters Council
Robert Foster Rouse, Jr.Piedmont Council
Meghan SheedyTidewater Council
Gage Montgomery StarksWest Tennessee Area Council
Jonathan Cooper WilliamsAndrew Jackson Council
Devin Alexander WrayMiami Valley Council
Collins Lee WyattDaniel Boone Council
Adonis Joseph ZawalichGreater Tampa Bay Area
Mohit Mukund AgrawalGreater Los Angeles Area Council
Abraham EstradaCalifornia Inland Empire Council
Ryan FieldingAloha Council
Nancy GutzillerFar East Council
Ani Mara Der HovanesianOrange County Council
Dallin HuntLongs Peak Council
Jeffrey Alan KenyonCascade Pacific Council
Ethan LincolnMount Baker Council
Joshua LintnerSan Diego Imperial Council
Liam Lozano MorinBlue Mountain Council
Jesse Evan MuthLos Padres Council
Michael David Nordin, Jr.Mountain West Council
Adithya PalleGolden Gate Area Council
Parker PugnoGolden Empire Council
Walter RahmerCatalina Council
Dylan T. RandallCrater Lake Council
Sarah RossChief Seattle Council
Leif Peder Darryl RudlingVentura County Council
John RyanDenver Area Council
Christopher McKee SmithPikes Peak Council
Patrick L VeneziaVerdugo Hills
Erin Renee WilliamsCrossroads of the West Council
Michael RizzardiHawk Mountain Council
Diego M AlanisThree Harbors Council
Gabriel AmidonLaSalle Council

2021 Eagle Scout Projects of the Year

This post is part of our series spotlighting Eagle Scouts who received the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award in 2021. Here are the four winners:

2021 Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award recipients

  • National winner (representing the Northeast Region): Christopher Thomas Adam of the New Birth of Freedom Council, who led a team that designed and constructed an educational exhibit about D-Day, the Normandy landings in World War II
  • Central Region winner: Logan Goodbred of the Three Fires Council, who led a team that created a memorial for first responders
  • Southern Region winner: Hannah Kathryn Bailey of the Middle Tennessee Council, who led a team that installed mile markers and informational kiosks along the Collins River
  • Western Region winner: Mateo David Sabio Paese of the Pacific Skyline Council, who led a team that assembled water filtration systems at 14 different villages in Honduras

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