Fourteen-year-old Jonathan Sampson has one goal: to break typical teenager stereotypes. Sampson, a freshman at Fremont’s Washington High School, maintains a 3.8 GPA while taking honors courses, earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 10, plays classical guitar and piano, and donates his free time to volunteering with the Tri-City Volunteers, Adopt an Angel and the Triton Museum of Art. He’s also on the verge of becoming an Eagle Scout before he turns 15 on June 7.
For his Eagle Scout Service Project, Sampson, who is part of Troop 269 and the step-son of the Triton’s Chief Curator Preston Metcalf, chose to refurbish one of the museum’s pavilions. Once the remodel is complete, which requires removing carpeting that hasn’t been replaced in almost 30 years, sealing the floor, painting the walls, hanging drywall for two art storage rooms, and installing fluorescent lighting, the Triton intends to use the space, which has sat mostly unused for the past 35 years, as an additional classroom to expand its educational offerings.
“This will be used as an educational room for the museum’s summer programs,” says Sampson. “With this space, they can almost double the amount of kids that they teach in the summer. The main point of the Eagle Project is to give back or to your community.”
In addition upgrading pavilion interior, a new HVAC unit has been secured, courtesy of Santa Clara’s Environmental Services, Inc. (ESI).
“When they heard about our program,” says Sampson, “they decided to donate an HVAC system for the building we’ve been working on because the system now is just trashed. It will bring AC to the building.”
Part of the Eagle Scout Service Project involves Sampson learning the skills required to do the work so he can instruct and lead other scouts to complete the job. “I get in with the Scouts,” he says. “I do some of the work, but in scouting, we use the EDGE method. It’s an acronym for Explain, Demonstrate, Guide and Enable. It’s how you teach somebody to do something and I couldn’t have done this by myself.”
Sampson says the renovation would not have been completed without the help of his fellow scouts, who donated their time, and the leadership of Scout Master Dave Ridings, Assistant Scout Master and mentor Allen Tarnowski and his Eagle Coach James Chamberlain.
He also estimates the cost to complete the project is approximately $1,000, raised completely through personal donations, and says it will be completed on May 16, when the lighting will be installed and walls painted white.
“I hope that the museum gets to use it to its full potential,” says Sampson. “I’m happy that I’m able to do this. This is a really good project.”