Five teenagers from Culver City Troop 113 have been inducted as Eagle Scouts, the highest rank bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America.
Timothy Hart Baxendale, Kyle Cote, Andrew Dale Maia, Alexander Myers and Divakar Singamsetty were raised to Eagle status last Friday night in a formal ceremony at the American Legion Hall on Sepulveda Boulevard.
Only 1% of the millions of youths who join the Scouts each year eventually reach the rank of Eagle. To do so, one must earn at least 21 merit badges, provide numerous hours of service to the community and demonstrate leadership to peers and troop leaders. Perhaps the toughest requirement, however, is to organize and manage a large, service-oriented project that involves fellow Scouts and other volunteers.
“These five young men have honored their community and now the community would like to honor them,” said Richard Marcus, a former Culver City mayor and regional Boy Scout official, as he began wrapping the ceremonious Eagle neckerchief around each teen.
Baxendale’s service project involved a drive to gather books and other school supplies needed by incarcerated youths in the Los Angeles County Probation Youth Camps. He and his group of volunteers raised thousands of dollars worth of needed materials for use in camp classrooms and libraries, as well as supplies for the backpacks that the youths receive upon completing their sentence and returning to school.
Baxendale will graduate from Culver City High School this week. He will be heading to Northwestern University in Illinois in September to major in Mechanical Engineering. He is the son of Carlson Park’s Peter and Susannah Baxendale.
The project organized by Cote, another Culver High senior, was Troop 113’s first electronic waste drive to gather unwanted computers and other old electronic products and then dispose of them properly. His team collected from residents in Culver City and surrounding communities more than six tons of e-waste that might otherwise have dangerously been dumped into trash cans and landfills.
Cote lives near Lindberg Park with his mother and step-father, Sue and Sam DeFelice. He plans to attend California State University Northridge in September and major in Electrical Engineering.
The Eagle project launched by Maia, a devout Christian, resulted in the replacement of a large but aging sandbox that children who attend Culver Community Church on Sawtelle Boulevard have used for years. More than 30 youths and adults took part in the rebuilding project, which involved several tons of custom-cut wood framing and fresh sand.
Maia is the son of Jack Maia, one of Troop 113’s most respected leaders, and Teresa Liu. He plans to attend Pierce College in Woodland Hills this fall and later transfer to a four-year school to pursue a technology-related degree.
The equally extensive Eagle Project headed by Myers (no relation), a renowned water-polo star at Culver City High for years, was to gather dictionaries and other school supplies for each of the city’s five elementary schools.
Myers is currently enrolled at Santa Monica College and plans to transfer next year to CSU Long Beach or the UC Santa Barbara, where he will further study music and communications. He and his parents live in on the west end of Culver City.
Singamsetty, who graduated from Culver City High last year with numerous honors, organized and supervised a door-to-door effort that raised nearly two tons of food for the nonprofit Westside Food Bank.
He is now a sophomore at the University of Southern California, pursuing a degree in engineering. He is the son of west end Culver City residents Prasad and Madhavi Singamsetty.