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The Student News Site of Riviera Preparatory School

The Riviera Press

The Student News Site of Riviera Preparatory School

The Riviera Press

The Student News Site of Riviera Preparatory School

The Riviera Press

Student Spotlight: Meet Dylan Deville

Fellow bulldog receives the Eagle Scout Award
Student+Spotlight%3A+Meet+Dylan+Deville

In a historic turn of events, the Boy Scouts of America allowed girls to join their ranks in 2019, opening the door for countless young women to gain the coveted Eagle Scout Award. Among these scouts, senior Dylan Deville received the prestigious award on August 28, 2023. Her remarkable journey from aspiration to achievement inspires many and is a significant milestone that marks the start of inclusivity within the scouting community.

Deville’s troop, Troop 941, meets at Vineland K-8 Center every Tuesday. With her troop’s love and support, she started her project, Happy Bags, which provides hospitalized children with backpacks filled with goodies for comfort and entertainment. Some items included were stress balls, blankets, coloring books, stuffed animals, hand sanitizer, word searches, and more. After being a patient at Holtz Children’s Hospital, Deville aimed to give back to the place that helped improve her life. “I wanted to give back to the hospital that has done so much for me, whether that may be performing life-saving surgery or checking up on me annually. When you are under the age of eighteen, you are not allowed to have visitors except your family, which means you cannot see your friends. This makes one feel lonely at times. Therefore, I created Happy Bags to bring a smile to their face, make their day, and stay a little better,” says Deville. It was the start of Happy Bags that would spark the beginning of a long road towards qualifying for this once-in-a-lifetime award.

Along with planning and executing a service project, Deville had to ensure she met the other requirements. Aside from being a lifelong scout, she also had to complete twenty nights of camping. This showcases that scouts can think on their feet and be resourceful. Deville also had to work hard to achieve the mandatory twenty-one merit badges that teach various skills like cooking, first aid, and home economics. On a surface level, it may seem simple, but it takes immense dedication and perseverance to obtain these certifications.

Still, Deville acknowledged that, even with all her hard work, she could not have done this alone. “A few that really did so much and prepared me were Robbie Adams, who helped me get requirements done for any citizenship merit badge that I needed, and my Eagle advisor Barry Shwartzman, who told me what steps I needed to take and what needed improvement, as well as reminding me or suggesting things to make me and my eagle book ready to go for my board of review (aka an interview about my project),” said Deville. She also mentioned that our business teacher, Professor Dinter, played a crucial role in the process. Not only did he aid Deville in preparing for interview questions regarding her project, but he also assisted with condensing information so she could present more efficiently and professionally.

Deville’s attainment of the Eagle Scout Award is a remarkable achievement, representing dedication, leadership, and a commitment to the community. However, what truly distinguishes her accomplishment is the path she has paved by breaking gender barriers in the traditionally male-dominated world of Boy Scouts. Less than 2,000 scouts out of an estimated 2.7 million receive this recognition, and she stands among the few girls within this statistic who have taken the bold step to chase their dreams and break the mold. “It feels like I finally was able to turn a dream that I have had for four years now into a reality. It really shows me that you can do anything you set your mind to. If you want it bad enough and you fight hard enough, you can achieve anything,” says Deville.

Her story is a beacon of empowerment and resilience. Thanks to people like Deville, our world will witness a future where young girls are encouraged to reach for their goals regardless of societal expectations. We are so proud of Dylan and hope she continues to be a role model to fellow scouts and peers.

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About the Contributor
Sienna Fakiri, Editor in Chief
Sienna Fakiri is a senior and second year student who is also our Editor-In-Chief. Her pastimes include spending time on the water whether it is sailing or paddleboarding.  Tired of college applications, you can often quote her saying “I need a nap”. She can’t wait to discover what colleges she gets into, but before that she wants to partake in senior events.
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