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20111216_JUAN-DIEGO-ACADEMY_EPG_0059MISSION — A freshmen at Juan Diego Academy looked at his campus, fresh with new buildings and a tennis court but sensed the grounds were lacking.

The school needed a flagpole to show its civic and school pride, said 14-year-old Alan Guerra.

A member of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Boy Scout Troop No. 80 who is nearing the coveted ranking of Eagle Scout, Alan realized his mission to help him reach the one of the scout’s highest honors.

Last week, Alan presented his project to his 17 classmates and the school’s board members who helped get the school built and open this year.

After three months of planning and assigning tasks to his fellow Boy Scouts, Alan dug a hole for the pole and used 7,020 bricks to create a special meeting place for students at the pole.

“I was out there looking for my project and I had no idea where to start,” Alan said.

Through the help of Principal Robert Schmidt, the board and his scoutmaster J.W. Dyer, he was able to get approval for the construction of the pole.

“It all became a success,” Alan said of the project. “It’s a symbol of our country and it will be here for many years to come.”

Alan must now forward documentation of his project and work progress to Boy Scout officials and complete requirements to earn a few more badges before being informed of his status as an Eagle Scout, said Dyer.

“There’s a lot of maturity that goes with it and Alan has pushed that envelope,” Dyer said of Alan leading his peers in assisting on his project. “The Eagle Scout badge is the last hoorah.”

At 14 years old, Alan is among a small group of young men who seek the Eagle Scout badge. Typically, most scouts work on their Eagle Scout project as seniors in high school. In fact, those that earn the badge are a small group; Dyer said about two percent of scouts earn the Eagle Scout badge.

Beyond Eagle Scouts, there are three palms scouts can earn, the gold, silver and bronze.

“He’s likely to get all three badges,” Dyer said of Alan. “It’s really unusual to see and you hardly see anybody that does that, but he has committed himself.”

At a special dedication last week where Bishop Daniel E. Flores blessed the flagpole, Alan and his fellow scout hoisted up the American flag with the school’s flag, a green crest.

“There’s a lot of potential here and I’m glad I could help,” Alan said of Juan Diego Academy.

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