Post Eagle Newspaper


Feb 22, 2024

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

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Valedictorian Completes Eagle Scout Award Project

NEW JERSEY – Samantha DeFrancesco, valedictorian for the Immaculate Conception High School class of 2022 in Lodi, is also a female member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 86 in Lyndhurst, NJ. Hoping to achieve the prestigious Eagle Scout Award, she completed a project this summer constructing a gravel patio behind the ICHS building. Several steps were necessary in this project: communication with high school administration, surveys to find out the most utilitarian project, fundraising for materials, recruiting volunteer assistance and actual construction.

The project was completed in early July and hopefully, Samantha will receive her Eagle Scout Award in early December.

Samantha is a shining example of a young person using her intellectual gifts, talents and energy to benefit others. 

* Samantha went to Sacred Heart Grammar School in Lyndhurst, NJ,

* Her parents are Susan and Michael DeFrancesco (and her sister is Melissa DeFrancesco– ICHS Class of 2018)

* She will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)  in the fall and studying civil engineering

Samantha gave the background of her project in the following communication:

The first time I began seriously considering my Eagle Scout project, I knew I wanted it to benefit the Immaculate Conception High School community. I wanted to use this service project as a way to give back to a school that had already done so much for me, and I wanted to involve the school community as a whole as much as possible along the way so that we could create a finished product that everyone could be proud of. And so, I sent out a survey to the student body to gauge their interest in an improvement project for the school. Out of this survey, one trend was clear— an outdoor patio that could be used for classes, lunch, and events was the most popular idea. After months of planning, paperwork, fundraising (with the help of the IC community), purchasing materials, and adapting to obstacles, the construction was completed the weekend of July 2nd and 3rd, 2022, with the help of many volunteers. The finished 20 ft by 30 ft gravel patio is a versatile space currently containing six of the school’s pre-existing picnic tables that can be used effectively for outdoor classes and lunch seating, but the area can be decorated and used for nicer outdoor events as well. It is a basic, defined space that can be adapted to the school’s needs as necessary and will hopefully spark the imagination of a future Blue Wolf who can add onto it in years to come with her own vision. I hope that my project is the start of something good that will last in the Immaculate Conception High School com