Mikaeel, 17, is leading by example and encouraging others to improve their communities.
“If you have something you want to do to improve your community, take that chance. […] You can do it. You have to believe in yourself and know that every single act of kindness counts,“ he says.
Following his involvement two years ago to repair a vandalized historic African-American school in his local community, Mikaeel was inspired to do more to honour African-American history. So, for his Eagle Scout Award, he led over 100 volunteers in a project to build an accessible trail to a historic African burial ground near his community to respect and protect the local heritage. The group included people of Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Hindu faiths working together.
“Thanks to the multifaith and racially diverse group of people, representing America’s beauty, we constructed the trail to honor the enslaved Africans that helped build America,” Mikaeel says. “And visitors now have access to the burial ground to pay their respects.”
In recognition of his extraordinary service and contribution to community development and the promotion of dialogue and peace, Mikaeel received the Messenger of Peace Hero Award, which was presented to him and ten other Scouts from around the world at the United Nations in New York, USA, on 21 September 2018—International Peace Day. Discover all of the 2018 Messengers of Peace Heroes here.
During his visit, Mikaeel and the other Messengers of Peace Heroes awardees met UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who recognized World Scouting’s 1.1 billion hours of service recorded online since 2013 and welcomed Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement Ahmad Alhendawi’s pledge to add another 3 billion hours through the Messengers of Peace Initiative.
And as Mikaeel says, “A hero is not someone who does something huge and in public; it can be one small selfless act that you do out of the kindness of your heart.” As such Scouting is fortunate to count on millions of heroes worldwide, who make a difference in their communities every day.