Tired of seeing the dirty and aged street signs in his neighborhood, Benjamin Yarmowich was determined to make a change.
This January, the Lovett School junior earned his Eagle Scout rank after completing a neighborhood clean-up effort that successfully cleaned over 200 signs in the Pine Hills neighborhood.
“If you drive through my neighborhood, you saw that the signs were in bad shape. It was evident that something needed to happen, so I said I would do it,” he said.
Starting in September of 2013, Benjamin began the paperwork to start his project. With the help of his mom, he baked bunny-shaped cookie cakes around Easter to raise money to pay for cleaning materials. After raising $600, he and other volunteers got to work scrubbing the years of wear and tear off the signs.
Atlanta city councilman Howard Shook honored Benjamin for the project’s success by declaring Jan. 25 “Eagle Scout Benjamin Richard Yarmowich” Day in Atlanta.
“I was thrilled to present Benjamin with the thanks of the city,” Shook said. “His work cleaning dozens of neglected signs provided a measurable improvement to the safety and welfare of the Pine Hills neighborhood.”
Benjamin first began Boy Scouts 11 years ago and became a member of Troop 370, which is run out of St. James United Methodist Church, through which he says he has built many strong friendships. Over the years Benjamin has participated in monthly campouts and meetings, where he has gained a strong passion for service, leadership and sense of community, he said.
Benjamin said he was surprised and humbled with the city recognition. “It obviously feels really great to have completed something that is so noticeable to the city, and it’s just such a great feeling to drive by those new signs and to feel that sense of accomplishment.”
In addition to Boy Scouts, Benjamin is also a member of the speech and debate team, and the academic team. He is also the captain of the robotics team and co-president of the Live Action Role Play club. This spring, you can catch him on Lovett’s stage in the spring play.
Benjamin says he is not finished with his college search, but is looking into Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia and MIT. He hopes to major in computer technology.
This article was written by Amanda Gibson, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.