Abhiram Yadlapalli, Senior Patrol Leader of Scouts BSA Troop 126 and fellow Franklin resident, has earned the honor of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Scouting, through the completion of a 10-month-long project spanning 520 hours of dedication and hard work benefitting the Norfolk Mass Audubon community.
Fascinated by STEM from an early age, Abhiram decided to channel his interest into creating a rain garden for the Mass Audubon Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary for his Eagle Scout service project. A rain garden contains carefully selected plants that help collect water runoff from the surrounding environment which can contain excess nutrients and degrade the water quality of other natural sources of water that it encounters.
The environmental benefits that come with preventing the spread of runoff pollution, reducing local flooding, and minimizing the waste of this water make the rain garden an efficient and sustainable solution that is considerate of the pre-existing ecosystem. The rain garden also features a paved area that serves as a space for outside classrooms and educational field trips, which is especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, Abhiram persevered in carrying out his Eagle Scout project in collaboration with Mass Audubon, Hillside Nurseries, and the members of Scouts BSA Troop 126.
Abhiram's journey in Scouting began over a decade ago as a Cub Scout in first grade. As he moved up the ranks in Scouting, Abhiram earned multiple honors including the bronze and gold Eagle Palms, the World Conservation Award, and the Brotherhood honor level in the Order of the Arrow, Scouting's National Honor Society. He has also been a staff member of the National Youth Leadership Training program of Scouts BSA and an instructor for Troop 126's Introduction to Leadership Skills program.
In the past year, Abhiram was elected to serve as Troop 126's Senior Patrol Leader and leads over 30 scouts in a variety of endeavors. Notably, Abhiram has earned 33 merit badges, twelve more than the required twenty-one merit badges for Eagle Scout qualification, and he is on track to earn more. Achieving these badges has helped Abhiram develop invaluable skills such as wilderness survival, first-aid, sailing, kayaking, cooking, leadership skills, and many more.
Abhiram's dedication to serving his community extends beyond Scouting. As the Vice President of Franklin High School's Junior class, Abhiram leads fundraising initiatives for the student body and strives to represent their voices at student government meetings. Outside of his academic commitments as a straight-A student, he plays the saxophone in the FHS Concert & Jazz band and helps patients as a regular summer volunteer at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital.
Abhiram is grateful for the endless support and encouragement from his mom and dad, Siri and Venkat Yadlapalli, and his sister, Vineetha, who is a recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award, the equivalent of the Eagle Scout.
About Troop 126
Troop 126 Franklin has been chartered by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge #2136 since 1964. Scouts BSA is a year-round program for youth 11–17 years old that provides fun, adventure, learning, challenge, and responsibility to help them become the best version of themselves. Find a troop near you and join today at scoutsbsa.org.