IRVINE — Scouts BSA Troop 606, led by former Boys’ Scoutmaster Greg Nylen (currently Chris Bank) and Girls’ Scoutmaster Thomas Doherty and chartered by the University United Methodist Church in Irvine, is proud to announce nine scouts who recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout at its first-ever virtual Eagle Court of Honor ceremony that was held on Feb. 8.
This class of Eagle Scouts includes Irvine’s first female Eagle Scout. Scouts BSA, formerly Boy Scouts of America, has officially allowed females to join the scouting program and earn the rank of Eagle Scout since Feb. 1, 2019. Troop 606 was one of the first in Irvine to welcome female scouts and Yasmin Fukushima has been inducted as one of 1,000 in the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts that was honored by a National Scouts BSA on Feb. 20, 2021.
The following are the scouts that have earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Zachary Yawata earned the Eagle Scout rank on Feb. 27, 2020. He is the son of Chris and Sandy Yawata. Zachary’s Eagle Project was to build portable backpack racks for an after-school program.
Anthony Lu earned the Eagle Scout rank on March 26, 2020. The son of Joseph and Joanne Lu, he is a freshman at UC Santa Barbara. Anthony’s project involved building two six-foot-tall skateboard racks out of sheet metal for Portola High School in Irvine. Additionally, a video was produced to promote skateboard safety, in partnership with the police department. Metalworking was a big journey and risk, but it is an interest and a passion and was worth the effort. Anthony’s future plans include researching physics, becoming a mechanical or computer engineer, and/or starting a tech business.
Elliot Wong earned the Eagle Scout rank on April 14, 2020. The son of Anthony Wong and Judith Wang, he is a senior at Sage Hill School. Elliot decided to begin his Eagle Project while going through chemotherapy and wanted a chance to give back to the cancer community. Luckily enough, the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), where he underwent treatment, accepted his project’s proposal. He ended up making 100 no-sew blankets for the hospital’s cancer clinic, delivering them on the day of his last treatment. Elliot has applied to a number of schools as an aerospace/aeronautical engineering major. He hopes to one day work at one of the bigger space companies like SpaceX or NASA in the area of rocket propulsion.
Michael Yuen earned the Eagle Scout rank on Aug. 27, 2020. The son of Barry and Jeanny Yuen, he is a senior at University High School. Michael’s Eagle Project was to build portable signs for the local church.
Kenny Tao earned the Eagle Scout rank on Oct. 8, 2020. The son of Alan Tao and Alice Ishigame-Tao, he is a senior at Irvine High School. Kenny’s Eagle Project supported the instrumental music department of Plaza Vista School in Irvine, where he built a portable music podium and amplifier shelf. He wanted to help the K-8 school that he attended and support the music program where he learned how to play the saxophone. Kenny plans to attend college and obtain a degree in math or business.
Gram Nylen earned the Eagle Scout rank on Nov. 12, 2020. The son of Troop 606 Scoutmaster Greg Nylen and Mary Ann Nylen, he is a sophomore at University High School. Gram’s Eagle Project provided hygiene kits for the service members that are supported by the 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee.
Jackson Billings earned the Eagle Scout rank on Dec. 14, 2020. The son of Matthew and Marcy Billings, he is a senior at Woodbridge High School. Jackson worked with Teen Leadership Foundation in Costa Mesa. They help support children and teach them life skills when they age out of foster care. He planned a work day at one of the group homes, did a toiletry collection and put together baskets for incoming youth. Jackson plans to attend college and obtain a degree in science He is really interested in alternative energy solutions and working with electricity.
Amerdeep Passananti earned the Eagle Scout rank on Dec. 17, 2020. The son of Hardip Passananti and the late Robert Passananti, he is a senior at University High School. Amerdeep’s Eagle Project honored his father by conducting a bone marrow drive and making blankets for cancer patients undergoing bone marrow transplants.
Yasmin Fukushima earned the Eagle Scout rank on Jan. 4, 2021. The daughter of Eiji and Lea Fukushima, she is a junior at Portola High School. Yasmin is the first female Eagle Scout in Troop 606 and the first female Eagle Scout in Irvine. For her Eagle Service Project, she worked with the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) to provide COVID care packages to local residents living in low-income senior housing. These packages included basic needs such as food, toilet paper, face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, flashlights, and memo pads. With the help of several scout volunteers and her family, they were able to make and deliver a total of 126 packages to the residents, who happily received the care and attention.
Being the first female to become an Eagle Scout in her troop, she hopes to be a role model for younger girls, helping them in rank advancements and encouraging them to strive for the Eagle rank. Moreover, she hopes to utilize the teamwork, leadership, and organization skills that she has learned through implementing the service project towards a future career in the medical field and to continue on a path of service to her community.