After earning 33 badges and leading an extensive service project, 17-year-old and Meeker High School student Jacob Hasbell has received the highest rank within the Boy Scouts of America program, the Eagle Scout.
Born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Jacob faced challenges, but with the help of family and his determination, he persevered.
"I was very happy. A lot of kids don't get it at all and being that he is disabled, he had the option to do an alternative route and get it by the age of 21 but I felt that he has a good mind and we went to work..." his mother Jeanna said.
According to Scoutmaster of Troop 413, Dee Baxter, only five percent of Scouts earn this rank,
"The fact that he wanted to try, continue and finish is unbelievable. He is one of those 100 percent troopers," Baxter said.
For his service project, Jacob organized book drop offs at various churches, a book drive and he gathered over 250 books for the Ronald McDonald House, Southwest Orthopedic Clinics, Shawnee Public Library and North Rock Creek Public School.
"These days we need more reading material so that we can learn more. Reading material can teach you things," Jacob said.
While Jeanna encouraged him, Jacob initially came up with the idea when he was in the waiting room after his sister broke her arm.
"Part of the reason he decided to do that was because of Jeanna but also because Emily broke her arm and there were no books in there to read when he was waiting...so they decided to gather books so that kids and adults as well can read a book while they're in rehab or whatever," his father Keith said.
Jacob and Jeanna went to several meetings, got connected with the Ronald McDonald House and traveled throughout the metro to inform people.
"He made posters and we took them to six different locations (including) Guthrie and Edmond and Oklahoma City and here in Shawnee and we took them to the Oklahoma WONDERtorium...," Jeanna said.
Over time, students from Oklahoma State University and members of the family's church, Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints donated several books.
"I had Jacob go and collect the boxes and take down the posters and then we sat in (our) living room and then we sorted out 15 boxes...and then we took those boxes to Ronald McDonald House and then the second day we went through 23 boxes...," Jeanna said.
At one point Ronald McDonald House told Jeanna and Jacob they had exceeded their goal and now there are new shelves with plenty of books to read in their lobby.
In addition to a service project, to be become an Eagle Scout, Jacob also had to earn at least 21 badges. For him, one of the best and most challenging badges to earn was hiking. A Scout must hike over 75 miles to earn the badge.
"So in a wheelchair we found out the chair could only go five and half to ten miles and then the battery dies so then you have to come a different day and it was lots of fun," Jeanna said. "We hiked the Arkansas River...we walked the Tallahassee Trail which is a 40 mile trail in Mississippi. We only went three miles but we attacked it and did the best we could."
He was extremely happy to earn his rank and Jacob explained now that he's an Eagle Scout, he can help the other members of Troop 413.
"How I felt was glad that I completed it but also I liked that I could be in Scouts and I appreciate the effort everyone else has made," Jacob said. "I'm the Senior Patrol Leader for my troop and what I do is I plan camp routes and help with anything that needs to be helped with."
Jacob has been in the Boy Scouts since he was 11-years-old and he said he loves the adventure and the chance to serve others.
"I am passionate about helping others and why I am passionate about that is because everyone should have help no matter their condition," Jacob said.
Another one of Jacob's favorite pass times is playing wheelchair basketball with his team the Rolls of Thunder.
"My favorite part would be being able to support my team," Jacob said. "I help manage the time clock and the score."
Jacob has played basketball for four years and has traveled all over the country including Nebraska, Missouri, Texas and Kentucky for tournaments. The Rolls of Thunder also had the opportunity to play at the halftime of a Thunder preseason game.
Since Jacob earned his Eagle Scout Rank, people have sent him than you letters and are proud of his accomplishment, Jeanna said.
"We meet several people wherever we go and they're excited that he went through the effort and became an Eagle Scout and they know that it will help him with job resumes or job interviews...," Jeanna said.
Jacob's family is also proud he reached his goal and are now ready to relax. In the near future, Jacob will graduate from high school and he said he hopes to pursue his passions.
"I'm hoping to find a good job and possibly go to college and...I hope to have the career of engineering," Jacob said.