Scouting can instill many characteristics and qualities in young people, and Jeff Haas is no exception.
"It's fun. I love it," said Jeff, a 16-year-old junior at Lakeside High School. "I've learned stuff with Scouts that I never would have learned anywhere else."
Jeff is one of only a few Scouts who earn their Eagle Scout badge. A Scout since he was 6, Jeff's Eagle Scout project, completed last fall, included renovating a playground for Vineyard Church's preschool.
Building a toy box, cleaning all of the playground equipment, digging up a stump that posed a safety hazard and installing fresh sand over the entire play area were among the projects Jeff completed.
When he's not participating in scouting events, Jeff has plenty of other activities that keep him busy. He's in the school's show choir, concert choir and literary quartet, and he has participated in the 10th District Honor Chorus for the past five years.
"I think I get my singing qualities from my mother's side of the family," said Jeff, the son of Gary and Susan Haas of Martinez. "I love singing, and I love music - music is a passion."
Jeff also plays the guitar and bass and likes to write and perform songs.
Jeff Haas, 16, is a junior at Lakeside High School. He recently completed his Eagle Scout project, sings in the school choir and has participated in the Tenth District Honor Chorus for five years.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"Jeff is in the top two choirs at Lakeside High School," said Stacy Branch, the choir teacher at Lakeside. "He was selected into the top group as a freshman and has remained in this group for three years. Jeff is a dedicated and dependable member of the show choir and chorus."
"Chorus and singing has helped me with that fear of stage fright," said Jeff, who also is vice president of the Lakeside High Toastmasters Club, which meets after school and teaches students public speaking skills. "I can speak in front of crowds all day long."
Melissa Minton said Jeff is a student she enjoys having in her class.
"Jeff's personality, both in and out of the classroom setting is quite outgoing," said Minton, a literature teacher at Lakeside High. "His perspective on various pieces of literature that we study is one of maturity and open-mindedness. Jeff's contributions in class always reflect that he has put thought and consideration into the topic or task at hand. Jeff's dedication and determination consistently show in everything he undertakes."
As a member of the school's Student Council, Buddy Club, Lakeside Support Coalition and Drama Club, one would think Jeff doesn't have much time for extracurricular activities. But Jeff spends much of his free time volunteering at area soup kitchens and Augusta Urban Ministries in an effort to fulfill his need to help others.
"It gives you the greatest feeling in the world to help somebody out and it's better than anything," said Jeff, who said he hopes to pursue a career in public relations or marketing.
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