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PVC Ball Rack
Built by Jake Harper from Temecula, California.
Temecula scout adds new project to resume
10:00 PM PST on Friday, January 14, 2011
By PETER FISCHETTI
Special to The Press-Enterprise
"Oh, Jake Harper did that."
It's a sentence you'll hear in Temecula, where Jake lives, and as far away as Camp Pendleton. At the age of 18, he's already done more for his community than a lot of longtime residents.
On his way to becoming an Eagle Scout with Troop 148, Jake completed a number of projects.
He helped install benches at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. He cleaned and painted at the new Southwest Communities Animal Shelter. He built a garden at Redhawk Elementary School. He did landscaping and irrigation work for a local water agency. And he installed pavers at the Path for the Walking Wounded at Camp Pendleton.
"I really like being part of the community," he said, "And I value working as a leader."
Jake's latest project -- the one that earned him the Eagle Scout badge -- was designing and constructing playground equipment carts at Abby Reinke Elementary School in Temecula, where he graduated before moving on to Temecula Valley High School.
Jake Harper says he has been surprised by the response the school has given to his playground equipment work. Last August, he contacted Christine Boyd, principal of Abby Reinke, and asked her if the school needed anything done that might fulfill the requirements for an Eagle Scout project.
"Playground equipment carts seemed the best project," he said. "It was also quite different from other scout projects I have participated in."
Jake is a senior at Temecula Valley and engineering captain of the school's Science Olympiad Team, which reached statewide competition last year. That came in handy as he and his dozen volunteers completed the three carts in October.
The budget was $500, but with discounts for materials from Circo Innovations and Lowe's in Temecula, the project came in under budget.
"We used the leftover money to buy soccer and basketballs," Jake said. "And I was helped there with a donation from the Temecula Walmart."
Jake enjoyed the challenge of the project.
"I had to design the carts myself. I used pictures of a cart that is available retail for $400 as a guide. It was a real learning process. The Scoutmasters at Troop 148 gave advice during the application process."
But it was all worth it, he said.
"I was surprised that the response from Abby Reinke has been so enthusiastic. I have received thank-you cards from the students and many thanks from the teachers."
Jake and his family have lived in Temecula for 10 years. His parents, Stephen and Daniela, have another son, Travis, 16, and a daughter, Kaitlin, 14.
After graduating in June, Jake plans to major in computer science at one of the universities where he's already been accepted, then begin a career in software development.
EDUCATION: Senior at Temecula Valley High School
NOTABLE: Earned his Eagle Scout badge by constructing three sports equipment carts for Abby Reinke Elementary School
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