South Jordan, Utah Teen Named The American Legion Eagle Scout of the Year

Brad P. Jencks, 18, a senior at Bingham High School, earned the award and a college scholarship worth $10,000. The award was announced during The American Legion’s board of directors meeting here.

The award recognizes Jencks’ practical citizenship at school, scouting, and his passion and commitment to community service. For his Eagle Scout project, Jencks found that an old ghost town cemetery where hundreds of people who had died young from tragic deaths such as mining accidents, snow slides, and epidemics, was lost in overgrowth and disrepair. He researched what happened to the people of Bingham City and found baby names on hundreds of headstones, many vandalized and deteriorated headstones, and hundreds of metal markers that could not be read at all. He found notations on headstones in many different languages. He mobilized community volunteers, cleared garbage, weeds and sagebrush from the 8 acres site, photographed and recorded GPS readings of hundreds of headstones, recorded the information into a computer database, repaired vandalized headstones and replaced and installed several headstones from donations.

As a result, people from all over the world have identified ancestors buried there from 30 countries and 38 states. His collection of data now resides with the Utah State Historical Society and a number of graves of war veterans have been identified for appropriate honors. Planning a 100 hour project, Jencks went the extra mile completing the effort after expending 2,790 hours.
Jencks has been recognized with the Utah Top High School Volunteer Prudential Spirit of Community Award, the Save Our History National Honors Award from the History Channel, Roots Television Documentary Award, four Presidential Volunteer Gold Service Awards, the U.S. Presidential Volunteer Lifetime Service Award and four National Youth Leadership Outstanding Service Awards from the Boy Scouts of America.

Jencks will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree with a dual major in chemistry/biology at Honors College. After graduation, he plans to attend dental school and become an oral maxillofacial surgeon.

The American Legion awarded a $2,500 scholarship to John J. Register of Austin, Minn., John D. Dreyzehner of Abington, Va., and Joe Phillips of Fond du Lac, Wisc.

The American Legion has supported scouting since its first national convention in 1919. Legion posts sponsor more than 2,700 scouting units, serving more than 71,500 young people, at a cost of more than $1.7 million.

This was a press release issued by The American Legion.

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