By Kassie Parisi
CLIFTON PARK— Local Shenendehowa High School student Siddhant Chaturvedi will be leaving high school soon, but staying behind for years to come is his recent Eagle Scout project, a three-paneled wall honoring Shen alumni who have served, or are currently serving in the armed forces, or who are volunteer first responders.
“I think currently, we don’t give them as much recognition as they deserve. They fight for our country and they work inside our country,” Chaturvedi said. “Like the first responders, they keep our homes and communities safe.”
The project consists of a display case with three sections. The left section features photos and information about the Shen students who were or are U.S. Armed Forces personnel. The far right section features a list of current Shen students who serve in local fire departments as volunteer firefighters and EMTs. In the middle is a digital photo display running on a continuous loop featuring photos and information about those on the wall.
Chaturvedi, 16, and a junior, joined the Cub Scouts in third grade and moved into the Boy Scouts in fifth grade. Next year, he said he will begin the college application process. Though he isn’t yet sure of what he would like to study in college, he included business or journalism as possible options.
“Being able to express myself would be an amazing thing,” he said.
Chaturvedi is no stranger to managing many different things at once. Along with all of his clubs, such as the yearbook club and the speech and debate club, and a full course load with zero free periods this year, he enjoys cooking, photography and videography. He also reads, and said the Harry Potter series is one of his favorites, citing acclaimed author J.K. Rowling as an inspiration, though it was tough for him to pick just one person.
“Since social media is out there, it’s easy to find people who inspire you to be a better person, and to do better,” he said.
His admiration stems from the fact that, according to Chaturvedi, Rowling created a dynamic world that has a lasting impact on people in a vast way.
For his Eagle Scout project, Chaturvedi too wanted to do something that was different and would stand the test of time, but that the community could also become involved with. In creating the project he took on the role of the leader, and learned how to delegate tasks, such as raising money for the project, to other people, as opposed to micro managing everything himself.
“I felt like it would be a different project than most people have done so far in scouting, and I felt like it could have a very big impact for years and years to come,” he said. “It’s quite interesting how something that you don’t think could happen to you, can happen to you. So it really hit close to home knowing that what I could do could actually help benefit and recognize people, who don’t get as much recognition as they deserve.”