CSS Inspire – “Helping the Homeless, One Table at a Time”: 16-year-old earns Eagle Scout | Local News

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John Robert Schunder III earned the highest honor in Boy Scouts, the Eagle Scout award.

The 16-year-old is the son of Stephanie Schunder of Midlothian, Va., who is a 1987 Kempsville High School graduate. His grandparents, Shirley and Bob Lewis, live in the Haven Heights section of Kempsville.

John’s project was titled “Helping the Homeless, One Table at a Time.”

He partnered with CARITAS, Congregations Around Richmond To Assure Shelter. The nonprofit organization helps shelter the homeless, offers a jobs program, furniture bank, and provides addiction recovery services.

“Since I was a boy, my mother raised me with the understanding that ‘paying it forward’ was what mattered in life,” he said. They’d volunteer together on service projects to make “people’s lives a little brighter,” he said.

He organized a team and built three wooden kitchen tables for CARITAS. Each will be given to someone helped by the organization when the time comes to move into a starter home.

John joined Cub Scout Pack 2831 in 2008, and was a member of Boy Scout troop 2860. He is an honor roll 10th-grade student at Midlothian High School, and a member of the school’s cross country and track teams.

He also is involved with the youth group ministry Young Life and volunteers as a food service coordinator for a program at his local public library. Growing up, he spent many summers with his grandparents, and is a member of the Kempsville Recreation Center.

He plans to attend college, earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and eventually work in computer programming, web design, or the cyber security industry. Being a Scout has impacted his life, he said. He has learned new skills, been involved in the community, and mentored others.

“Scouting means holding yourself to a higher standard and putting others first,” he said. “It also means strength and determination to overcome and achieve anything you set your mind to in life.”

MILITARY

The following U.S. Air force airmen graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas: Christopher Williams, grandson of Peggy Harper of Virginia Beach, and husband of Ellen Williams and son of Miranda Williams of Chesapeake; Kelsey Hamel, daughter of Meghan Berlingeri of Virginia Beach, and wife of Tyler Hamel and daughter of Mary and Willard Cutler of Florida.

SCHOOL NEWS

The Landstown Middle School cheer team placed first at the 2017 citywide middle school league Cheerfest competition.

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