Joseph Lepak, from Alexandria, VA, a member of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Catholic Community, Archdioceses for the Military Services, USA is one of seven recipients of a service scholarship awarded in 2019 by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) through the Emmett J. Doerr Memorial Scout Scholarship Fund.
Joseph received a $2,000 scholarship. As a military kid, Joseph moved around a lot but the two things that were consistent in his life were Catholic chapels on military posts and Scouts, so they both became very important to him. He says, “as a result of my faith and upbringing, I also have an extreme desire to serve others…It is very important to me that my legacy and my accomplishments in work, affect others for the better. I want the people of this country-and the world-to be better off due to my actions.”
After his dad retired, Joseph was able to stay in Northern Virginia throughout his high school years. He has held numerous leadership positions in Scouting including Senior Patrol Leader, Order of the Arrow (OA) Vice Chief of Finances, Ordeal Master and Area Chief, leading almost 1,000 Scouts in five chapters (Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society). Joseph has also STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activity leader, secretary, and president of his Venturing Crew.
Joseph is currently Junior Assistant Scout Master of Troop 129 in Alexandria, VA. His Eagle Scout Project involved designing and constructing a new tool shed and improving the gardens for a middle school. He has been a participant in the 2015 World Scout Jamboree and the Inter-American Scout Jamboree in Ecuador. With his Venturing Crew he attended the National Jamboree in West Virginia, Sea Base Bahamas, and Northern Tier High Adventure. Joseph received several awards including the Dr. Bernard Harris Bronze Supernova Award, designed to introduce and encourage further study of STEM.
Through his archdiocese, Joseph has earned all four of the religious awards and has served as an altar server, lector, teen leader for vacation Bible School, assisted with clothing and food drives and with the Adult Education Program.
Always wanting to serve, Joseph has worked with many community organizations, including Wreaths Across America, Alexandrians Living Ecumenically, helping to set up and distribute food to low-income families, Scouting for Food, Park Clean-Up, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Meals on Wheels and Metavivor, a cancer survivor fundraiser swim-a-thon.
Academically, Joseph was selected for admission to T.C. Williams STEM Academy and to participate in their Cyber Security Camp. He has received numerous academic awards and represented his school through his science research. He has been active in “The High School Project Plan”, which aims to resolve issues around growing student enrollment and space at his high school. He also recently joined Community for Renewable Energy (CURE). Their mission is to train school staff and inform students about creating eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable schools. Joseph has been accepted at George Mason University and is interested in studying political science.
To be eligible to apply for the Emmett J. Doerr Memorial Scout Scholarship, the Scout must be Catholic, earned the Ad Altare Dei and/ or Pope Pius XII Awards, and received the Eagle Scout, Summit, or Quartermaster Award. Visit the website for a complete list of award recipients, eligibility requirements and applications.