The news recently reported an incident at Bunn High School involving students who became so out of control, school staff was not capable of restoring order.
Reports are a police officer, who is also the school resource officer, had to be called, and even he was ignored. The situation escalated to the point the officer must have feared for his safety, and the safety of others. To restore order he found it necessary to use force, deploying pepper spray to disperse the students.
The news is full of these kinds of stories about young people. The coverage is so thick on them they are raised to cult, or rock star-like figures.
What about the good young people? You know the ones that do not bully others, those that work hard and contribute to our community, the boy or girl always with a kind word for others; lifting things up rather than tearing everything down.
This story is about one of them.
A young man named Joshua W. Stein, on Saturday, Feb. 7, was the subject of an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony held at United Methodist Church in Louisburg.
The ceremony was both a celebration of hard work and the induction of young Stein into the high order of Eagle Scout.
He took on for his Eagle Project, with the help of family and friends, the collection and distribution of more than 1,000 books to personally impact the literacy of children in Franklin County.
Joshua was born Feb. 25, 1997, in Peoria, Ill. He began his scouting career in first grade with Pack number 3208 in the W.D. Boyce Council. Years later he would join Scout Troop 555 of Louisburg.
The Louisburg United Methodist Church has had a continuous charter with the Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America for over 56 years, and a Cub Scout pack for over 62 years.
During that period only 88 boys have earned the rank of Eagle Scout with Troop number 555.
For every 100 boys who join Scouting, records indicate only two will become an Eagle Scout.
Of the first 29 astronauts, 26 were scouts, statistics show 85 percent of FBI agents have been Scouts. Additionally, the majority of military service academy graduates have also been Scouts.
As you can see, young Stein has become part of a very elite fraternity.
I was honored to be in attendance at this ceremony, with his parents, John and Silke Stein, and sister Madison, to witness him take the oath, receive this award, and accept the Eagle Challenge.
Others in attendance included his grandparents, Walter and Silva King, aunt Ellen Hartness, and North Carolina State Sen. Chad Barefoot, as well as many other friends, and family.
Also of note, is his personal recognition, from the Vatican by his Holiness, Pope Francis, with prayers and well wishes for attaining the distinction of Eagle Scout.
Sometime ago, I first heard the name Joshua Stein from Diane Taylor Torrent, author of the recently published book, "Franklin County (Images of America)," and accomplished genealogist. She referenced his writings and research with history and heritage during a conversation we were having.
I later had the pleasure of listening to him address a group on the subject.
Astonished and inspired are the words I will use to tell of how I was left, when I found at that time he was a young man of 16 years.
We live in troubled times with the question often being asked, where are all the leaders? Where are the thinkers, those of integrity, with mental and moral courage?
I, too, ask these very questions. I know where one is. Currently he sits in a class room at Louisburg High School.
He is a member of the National Honor Society, Warrior Book Club, Drama Club, Brain Game and Tennis Teams. He is the recipient of recognition from the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists for outstanding academic achievement, for leadership potential, and determination to serve humanity.
He is a junior volunteer at the North Carolina Museum of History, and the youngest member of Heritage Society of Franklin County.
He is also an award winning athlete studying the martial arts discipline of Tang-Soo-do.
I have captured but a sampling of this extraordinary young man's achievements and accomplishments. There are many more.
What I have not told you of him, and what is most revealing of his character, is his illuminating presence of reverence, humility, and abiding compassion for others.
Upon graduating from high school, his plans are to attend Bridgewater College in Virginia to major in biology, pursuing a minor in history.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the many that have been in this young person's life, mentoring and guiding him. Among them are those locally in leadership with the Boy Scouts of America.
The next time you hear of, or read about young people doing wrong, please quickly forget their names. Remember the name, Joshua W. Stein, you will hear it again.
One person can make a difference, and age is not a measure or qualifier for it.
This is not the end of this story, it is now just beginning.
An Eagle has taken flight.