Christian Egan pictured next to map at Lake Ridge ES

When selecting an Eagle Scout project, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School senior Christian Egan knew that he wanted to complete a project that was meaningful to him and the community. With options and the ability to complete a project in many places throughout the community, he found his way back to his old elementary school, Lake Ridge Elementary School.

"I figured I would go back to my old elementary school and do something meaningful for them," said Egan. "When looking for a project idea, I came across the idea to paint the [United States] map."

For an Eagle Scout project to be approved, it must be thoroughly planned and presented to multiple committees. In May 2020, as part of the process, Egan shared his project idea with Sarah Harrington, principal at Lake Ridge Elementary, who seemed to love it.

"When Christian approached me in the spring of 2020 and reviewed his project for the United States map painting on our school grounds, I was impressed," said Harrington. "Here was a young man who wanted to give back to his former elementary school and drafted a project proposal out of that desire."

After that, Egan shifted his attention to finding the right supplies for the project, including finding paint that would last on an outdoor surface. Extreme Custom Collision donated money for supplies and Sherwin-Williams donated paint.

Egan gained final approval for his project in June and then started sketching and painting soon thereafter. Working through the summer months, he adjusted the schedule multiple times due to weather, but even with the delays, he finished the project by the end of August.

During the process, as Egan saw his project come to fruition, he realized how beneficial something like an interactive map would have been for him as a young student. He hopes Lake Ridge Elementary students will find the benefit today.

"When I was a kid, I loved going outside. As a student, this is something I would have liked," said Egan. "I hope that teachers use this as an educational tool and bring [their students] out of the classroom."

Since the completion of the project, Lake Ridge Elementary has received compliments from the community, including current in-person learners who have had the chance to explore the map. Overall, Harrington is proud of Egan not only for his project, but for also being a role model for young learners at the school.

"I take pride that Lake Ridge has been integral part of shaping Christian into a successful, contributing citizen," said Harrington. "I hope that each of our Lake Ridge Elementary learners strive to achieve that same goal."