‘I Made History’: Meet the First African-American Eagle Scout in Alabama
MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — In tonight’s What’s Working, a huge honor for a high schooler from Murphy. Jakayla Armstrong of Liberty Missionary Baptist Church Troop 283 became the first African-American woman in the Mobile Area Council to achieve Eagle Scout rank. This is the highest rank you can earn in the Boy Scouts of America. She is also the first African-American woman from the state of Alabama to earn this honor.
The girls were allowed to join the Boy Scouts in 2019. Armstrong said she laughed when Scoutmaster and fellow choir member Fred Young suggested she join.
“Mr. Fred approached me and asked me how I felt about being in the Boy Scouts. I thought it was for boys,” Armstrong said.
Young says he knew she would accomplish what it takes to become an Eagle. One of the greatest tests of becoming an Eagle Scout is leading a service project that works for the betterment of a community with lasting impact. Jakayla’s project was to create care packages at Wilmer Hall Children’s Home where she volunteered her time in community service for three weeks.
“When it was announced that she was going to be an eagle, I didn’t let her see me cry. I’m starting to cry right now. I’m so excited for her for what this is going to accomplish for her and how which is going to move her forward in her life,” Young said.
Scouting executive William Bryant says Armstrong is an example to others.
“It’s good. It shows the diversity of Scouting. It shows that girls can do anything boys can do, and it also shows that we need more girls in Scouting,” Bryant said.
Armstrong says all the late nights were worth it, especially to be the state’s first African-American female Eagle Scout.
“It’s great to know that I’ve made history. It’s a great feeling. A few years ago if you said I was going to be an Eagle Scout. I never thought it would be me There’s no limit to what you can do,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong plans to attend the University of Alabama next year.