Ortega earns Eagle Scout rank with Mill Creek project
To earn his Eagle Scout rank, Solomon Ortega gave his skills to build the Giving Garden at Mill Creek Elementary School.
“I wanted to become an Eagle Scout because I felt that I would learn to become a better leader over the course of the project,” Ortega said.
For his service project, Ortega constructed two large, raised garden beds, measuring 8 feet by 32 feet by 2 feet and surrounded by walkways. “I chose to build the beds from scratch instead of using a kit,” Ortega said.
Mill Creek’s Giving Garden resulted from a $2,900 Toolbox for Education grant from Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. Mill Creek students will grow pumpkins and other produce as a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Ortega acknowledged volunteers from Troop 83 and friends outside of Scouts that helped with construction. “I would also like to thank Mr. Scott Motz, my Scoutmaster, and my father, both of whom were very helpful throughout the project.”
Mill Creek teachers and students are proud of the campus enhancement. “When I was finishing the beds, one teacher stopped me and asked if the garden was for all grades,” Ortega said. “The teacher was very exited to learn that they were.”
Mill Creek’s Giving Garden was the site for another service project. Noah Hudson, a freshman at James Clemens High School, built scarecrows and signage at Mill Creek to fill one requirement for Eagle status.
“I have lived in Madison all of my life, and I have been home schooled since the first grade,” Ortega said. He is a tenth-grader.
The Ortega family moved to Madison with his father’s work at Redstone Arsenal. His parents are Sam and Cyndi Ortega. Sam Ortega works as an engineer for NASA. Cyndi Ortega home-schools Solomon and his sister Sierra.
Solomon is a member of the United Way Youth Leadership Council and Key Club and competes each year with the Science Olympiad team. “I like to spend my free time reading, making things, playing soccer and running,” Solomon said.