Eagle Scout candidate Justin Lieu is on the verge of earning his wings, with seven years of Boy Scout training and the required 21 merit badges under his belt. He just needs to turn in the paperwork.
Lieu, a Francis Lewis High School senior, used his years in the Scouts to improve his neighborhood.
“The position has definitely taught me a lot about helping and caring for others,” said Lieu.
On Saturday November, 12 and Sunday November, 13, 2011, Lieu initiated a project to clean up the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground, also known as Martin’s Field – an idea sparked by his uncle and Scoutmaster, Evergreen Chou.
At first, Lieu was hesitant about the project. Upon researching the history of the site, he discovered the importance of preserving such a significant piece of land, and decided it would be a great way to give back to the community.
“Cleaning up the burial ground made me feel a sense of accomplishment in the fact I was able to help out my Queens community and especially help out a site which has a lot of history to it,” said Lieu.
In coordination with the Parks Department, Lieu snipped weeds, pruned foliage and cleared walking paths. He removed invasive species of plants hindering the growth of others and placed mulch where it was needed.
“I believe that it is important for young people to help out in their communities because this is how a community survives and grows,” said Lieu. “By helping out and giving back, a community can do more for its residents. More people would [be inspired to] go out and volunteer to ‘give back.’”
The 17-year-old feels one of his biggest responsibilities are continuing the legacy of the Scouts, nurturing younger members and keeping the traditions alive.
“I have learned so much in Scouting,” said Lieu. “It is only right that I help out newer Scouts and teach them what I have learned to keep Scouting alive and strong.”
When he takes a break from Scouting and school, Lieu enjoys being active – playing handball and weight training. He also has a love of photography.
Lieu plans to submit his Eagle Scout paperwork by the end of February, following which he will need to receive permission from the Eagle Board of Review, a group set up by the Scoutmaster and Scout Leaders from the district.
Lieu looks forward to continuing to give back to his community, mentioning that he already has another project in the works, to be completed in April.