Each week, Bloomfield Patch features students doing amazing things in their schools and in their communities. This week's Whiz Kid is an animal lover that is dedicating his Leadership Service Project to honor K-9 units that protect and serve the public.
- Age: 14
- Achievement: Joshua plans to build a bronze statue memorial to K-9 officers to the left of the flagpoles at . The project, called the Leadership Service Project by the Boy Scouts of America, is a necessary element to attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the highest honor for Scouts. According to Charley Gipe, who is Joshua's Scoutmaster in Troop 185 of Waterford, only 5 percent of Scouts reach this pinnacle of achievement.
Per Scouts tradition, Joshua plans to enlist in the help of others to fundraise, organize and build the K-9 memorial, which will honor the sacrifice made by the dogs, their handlers and their handlers' families in the line of duty. Police Chief Michael Patton said he welcomed the opportunity to honor the unique officers.
"I'm definitely impressed with the work of the young man to honor the K-9s ... the way that the statue will be placed outside will be as though the K-9s are out there, looking out for us," said Patton. "They’ve not only saved officers' lives, but other citizens' lives. When you have a senior or a juvenile who’s missing, we’re sometimes waiting for the K-9s to get there."
- Key to awesomeness: Joshua loves animals, which explains why he chose to honor K-9s. His father, Officer Jim Geary, said he originally had trained to work as a K-9 handler before he began working as a traffic enforcement officer in West Bloomfield four years before Joshua was born. He said Joshua has always enjoyed visiting West Bloomfield's K-9 officers and has dreamed of eventually working as a veterinarian since age 5.
Joshua said his favorite parts of the project are those that require strong leadership skills. Just as he has helped Eagle Scouts in his troop, he plans to ask other Scouts for help with the project's manual labor. Joshua will also attempt to raise an estimated $6,500 to fund the project by asking members of the community for donations ($50-$80) in exchange for a brick with their name on it being used in the memorial.
Joshua said information on how to donate would be available soon, and he hopes to have the project finished by spring.
Do you know our next Whiz Kid?
Bloomfield Patch welcomes suggestions for students, youth groups and even sports teams who wow us with their accomplishments. We want to hear about amazing children and teens and select one each week as Whiz Kid. Submit your nomination in our comment box below or email the information to editor Art.Aisner@patch.com. Please include all these details:
- Nominator's name
- Whiz Kid's name and age
- Whiz Kid's school
- Whiz Kid's accomplishment
- What makes him or her successful