The Montana Council is and proud to announce that Eagle Scout Nate Jourdonnais, 18, son of Scott and Mary Beth Jourdonnais, has been selected as Montana’s top High School Youth Volunteer of the Year in the 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Contest.
“Whether it be working on other Scouts’ Eagle projects, or anything else from river restoration to trash cleanup, it is exciting and fulfilling to know that your work is benefiting others and the community around you.”
Nate, a senior at Big Sky High School, organized a nine-month project to build a bike shelter near downtown Missoula so that bicycle commuters and recreational cyclists would have a convenient place to lock and protect their bikes. According to Nate, he wanted to create a structure that would help promote alternative modes of travel in the community for future generations.
Headquartered in Missoula, Ecology Project International offered the property next to their historic building. After obtaining the proper city permits, Nate worked with an architect to develop a design for the shelter that would be compatible with the historic building.
“The Prudential Award is very exciting,” Nate said. “It is cool to know that an Eagle Scout project constructed to benefit Missoula as a community also can help provide opportunities to earn scholarships that will help pay for college. I’m happy to see how others recognize volunteers for what they do to benefit their communities.”
The total project hours exceeded 400 and while the total cost of the project was $6335.00, donated professional labor, donated repurposed and recycled materials and fundraising of $2000 resulted in the total cost being covered at the conclusion of the project.
“A moment that stands out was when there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the bike shelter when it was completed,” he said. “I am not one to bring attention to myself, but it was gratifying to see my volunteer work pay off and have others appreciate it and congratulate me for my efforts.”
Nate will receive a $1,000 award, an engraved silver medallion and a trip to Washington, D.C., for the program’s national recognition event.
“Volunteering is very important. I think it helped shape me as a youth,” said Nate. “Volunteering helped teach me a good work ethic and that helping others is so rewarding individually and as a community.”