HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A high school senior is the first deaf scout in Hawaii to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Joshua Salomon received his court of honor on Wednesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kahala from the Aloha Council and Hawaii Troop 108.
Earning the Eagle Scout rank is the highest advancement rank in boy scouting. According to the Boy Scouts of America, in 2009 about five percent of all boy scouts earned the prestigious rank. Some of the requirements include earning 21 merits badges, serving as a troop leader and completing an Eagle Scout board review.
Joshua's parents, Al and Kathie Saloman said that they started him in Tiger Scouts on the Big Island around the age of six because they wanted him to be involved in something positive.
"We are really proud of him. It was all because of his hours of hard work," said his mother. It was not until Joshua experienced going through the different ranks that he realized that he could belong and do the same as any hearing person.
He hopes his achievement will give him an opportunity to influence other scouts with disabilities.
"I want to teach them the ropes to make plans for the future," said Joshua. "I hope to continue as a role model for deaf scouts and help them develop self-esteem by realizing that they can reach Eagle rank the same as hearing scouts."
Joshua thanks his parents, Al and Kathryn, his aunt Mary Tavares, uncle Harold Tavares, Troop 26 Scout Mater Earl Muyabara, Troop 108 Scout Leaders: Tom Graham, Steve Laracuente, and Joe Berardy for their love and support throughout his journey.