BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — One Burlington Boy Scout overcame his own challenges to be able to help others.
Brendon Brown was recognized for earning his Eagle Scout rank Tuesday night at the Burlington City Council meeting. He had to overcome many health issues to make it to this point.
Brown was born with a brachial plexus injury, meaning his nerves were ripped apart from his spinal cord. Throughout his childhood, he underwent more than 20 surgeries.
He’s still partially paralyzed on his right side.
Brown wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to live a normal life until he found a community in the Boy Scouts in the fifth grade.
“It just kind of hooked onto me,” Brown said. “It was like a love at first sight type of thing.”
Brown loved the scouts so much that he stuck with it through his senior year of high school, completing a project to receive the highest rank in the program. His project centered around the Allied Churches of Alamance County.
“It’s an area I pass through constantly, and it just looked sad because you always see people out there, and they’re less fortunate than you are, and you just want to be able to try to help somebody,” he said.
50 hours later and with the help of his friends, Brown built picnic tables and spread gravel at the homeless shelter so people would have a place to hang out.
“Now when I drive by, I see people sitting on the benches laughing and joking,” he said.
Brown credits his mother and aunt for helping him reach this goal. They were in the crowd at the Burlington City Council meeting where council members recognized Brown and another Eagle Scout for their hard work.
Brown walked down the aisle to receive his certificate. It was something he didn’t always believe he could accomplish.
“Sometimes I felt like I wouldn’t amount to much of anything,” he said. “Sometimes I didn’t feel like I would be able to walk or move around comfortably in my own skin.”
Brown is also one of the few Black Boy Scouts to earn the Eagle Scout rank. He’s hopeful young boys will see how far he’s come and know they can do it, too.
“It feels good to be able to do something, even if you’re the minority,” Brown said. “It’s like setting an example showing other people…it doesn’t matter if you’re not like everyone else. You can still do it, too.”
Brown is heading to Appalachian State University in a few days to start his freshman year. He’s planning to study exercise science and wants to become a physical therapist to help people rehab just like his therapists helped him get to where he is today.