Mason Knowlton has overcome a life-long personal challenge to earn the Eagle Scout Award, Scouting’s highest rank. Mason is a freshman in the Collegiate Academy at Armwood High School, and at 14, has developed a strong sense of self in spite of personal challenges he has faced from birth. These obstacles have not kept him from excelling academically in school and participating in various activities such as FBLA and Boy Scouts. He recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank advancement in Scouting, which exemplifies the virtues of service, leadership and duty of Scouts by using their training and influence to better the community and the world.
Mason was born with a cleft palate, which is a condition in which the two plates of the skull that form the hard palate (roof of the mouth) are not completely joined during pregnancy. Children with a cleft lip and/or a cleft palate often have problems with feeding and speaking clearly and can suffer with severe ear infections. They also may eventually have hearing or speech problems and problems with their teeth.
Mason has endured surgeries every year since birth, and may have more in his future. He feels that his experiences with his condition and the subsequent surgeries have made him “a more compassionate person.” He says that “there are a lot of people who go through even more than I have gone through. This has taught me that I don’t need to care what people think about me because everybody is different in some way.” He is adamant that his Scouting years (from first grade to today) have made him more mature, reliable and knowledgeable about all kinds of things, including cooking, First Aid, and environmental issues.
Mason’s capacity for compassion is part of what sparked the idea for his Eagle Scout project. He recognized that the homeless population needs compassion and assistance, and he determined that he would focus his project on creating something that would be of continuing help to the homeless in the Brandon area. He partnered with the New Hope Methodist Church across the street from where his Scout troop meets, and built and then filled a cabinet to store items at the church for filling “Manna” bags.
He spearheaded car washes, clothing and food drives to raise funds for obtaining the pieces and parts for the cabinet and filling it with bottled water, socks, razors, shampoo, and other personal hygiene items. Mason has a strong sense of himself and a huge heart, and a firm belief that helping others is a way of life.
Congratulations on your achievement Mason!View Full Album