SOUTHBOROUGH – An Eagle Scout ceremony in the fall marked a significant milestone — Ariella Zalev became the first female Eagle Scout from Algonquin Regional High School.
Her scouting career began before girls were allowed to become scouts, watching her brothers’ scouting journeys and joining them on trips and at events like the Pinewood Derby.
The Boy Scouts of America later announced that girls would be able to join the scouts starting in 2019, and Zalev joined Troop 823 shortly after.
She said that scouting allowed weekly time for her and her friends to become better people in some way, shape or form. Over her career, she held several leadership positions in Troop 823, including as scribe, quartermaster, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader and junior assistant scoutmaster. She also joined the Order of the Arrow.
“I know it must be hard for new scouts to see yourself achieving the rank of Eagle Scout since all you hear is the chunk of requirements that you need to do to become it,” Zalev said.
She continued, “However, what they don’t tell you is that Eagle Scout is just a version of yourself waiting to get out and you only need some guidance and motivation.”
Eagle Scout project
The goal of Zalev’s Eagle Scout project was to stock the Southborough Food Pantry with first aid and hygiene supplies. She was inspired to do the project after she realized how expensive these items are during a trip to the store.
During the ceremony, Dianne Simmons said the food pantry was “very grateful” to be the recipient of Zalev’s Eagle Scout project.
“The need for food pantries across America has never been greater than it is here today in 2022,” Simmons said.
As part of her project, Zalev created flyers that were shared across Southborough Facebook groups and schools and through email. She worked with local companies to secure donations, and she held a car wash fundraiser to be able to both purchase supplies and donate money to the pantry.
Donations were dropped off at her house. Zalev then began to sort the donations before they were ultimately transported to the Southborough Food Pantry.
Simmons praised Zalev’s “energetic hard work” along with her communication and leadership skills and teamwork.
“She saw that more than just the food that they’re able to put on the table there were other needs — needs for first aid supplies, needs for personal care items, needs for health products,” Simmons said.
Marlborough scout builds bridges for Eagle Scout project
Northborough Troop 101 Eagle Scout gives back to Boston Children’s Hospital