Montini Catholic senior Jimmy Milas earns Eagle Scout rank
Montini Catholic High School in Lombard congratulates senior Jimmy Milas of Westchester for earning his Eagle Scout rank.
James is a member of Troop 73 in Westchester and completed his Eagle Scout project early, as a sophomore and student at St. Joseph High School (which closed its doors in May 2021).
He has diligently pursued his Eagle Scout rank for 12 years -- ever since joining the Cub Scouts in 2010 as a first-grader.
The ceremony recognizing his Eagle Scout milestone was held on Oct. 23, 2021, at the Westchester Community Church.
Eagle Scout is the highest achievement attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. The Eagle Scout designation has a long history since its founding over 100 years ago. Only 4% of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process. The requirements necessary to achieve this rank take years to fulfill.
Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges in fields such as first aid, citizenship in the community, nation and world, communication, personal fitness and emergency preparedness to name a few.
According to the Boy Scouts of America, an Eagle Scout must demonstrate Scout Spirit -- "an ideal attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages."
"To me, being an Eagle Scout is not about what everyone sees through awards and ceremonies, it is how you carry yourself whilst not wearing the Boy Scout uniform and how one does a good deed knowing that no one is watching," Jimmy says. He has lived this code diligently prior to and throughout his time at Montini Catholic, stepping up into leadership roles and helping out enthusiastically when asked (and, in many cases -- when not asked).
"He has really shown leadership tendencies and has been a welcomed new member to our Montini Catholic family," said President Jim Segredo.
His Eagle Scout project was a Cancer Awareness Courtyard at St. Joseph High School in Westchester.
"I was inspired to give a place of reflection for everyone to benefit from," he said. "Sadly, cancer affects us all in one way or another. I wish people did not have to suffer from cancer and/or their loss from cancer. The world is not fair. I wanted to create a place to meditate and reflect on the burden of this illness."
"The courtyard includes a 7-foot Japanese Tree Lilac, a statue of St. Peregrine (the patron saint of cancer healing), a handmade wooden box of various colored ribbons representing the different cancers, steppingstones, a brick patio, a bench for quiet prayer and various perennial flowers," Jimmy said. "At the dedication on Sept. 15, 2019, Father Tom Unz, former pastor of Divine Providence Parish, did the convocation and blessed the Courtyard and Saint Peregrine. Those who visit the tree have the opportunity to tie ribbons onto it in honor of a cancer survivor, someone who is currently battling cancer or in memory of someone that lost their battle."*
Jimmy was also recognized nationally as a finalist of the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year award which recognizes valuable service "of an exceptional nature" by an Eagle Scout candidate to a religious institution, a school, community or other entity through completion of an Eagle Scout project.
"In total, this project cost $1,901.23 from donors, and took 327 service hours from scouts and volunteers," said Jimmy, adding that his parents John and Debbie Milas were, by far, his number one supporters throughout his mission. "They assisted me with traveling, helped with the project and countless trips to Home Depot for supplies. My father was my Den Leader in Cub Scouts and my Scoutmaster throughout Boy Scouts. My mother was an outing coordinator and a commitment head. Without them being by my side I know my project would not have been possible."
He is also very thankful to have been inspired by former St. Joseph teacher, Mr. V.A. Zitzer.
"He was my history teacher and leader of the Ambassadors Club for me, freshman, sophomore and junior years at St. Joseph. He was a constant inspiration for me to construct my beautiful project on the St. Joseph campus," Jimmy said. "He was also a very strong proponent among the staff for getting it approved. He is now a substitute now here at Montini Catholic, so I am happy he has his calling here as well."
"Every Eagle Scout I have ever met has been the person who you know you can depend on, whether it be you need someone to help with a project you're working on over the weekend, you need someone to help you with school, or just be someone who you can turn and talk to and know they won't laugh and be there to help," said Devin Chiaramonti, Montini Class of 2021 graduate and Eagle Scout member. A quote that applies to Jimmy and every Eagle Scout honoree. "It's a show of maturity, that you can stick to work toward a goal that may take years to accomplish."
"Becoming an Eagle Scout is an accomplishment that tells the world that one has had good morals, an excellent work ethic and great values instilled in them" said Montini Catholic President Jim Segredo. "These honorable qualities are very hard to find these days and we are honored to have Jimmy here at Montini Catholic with us exhibiting them every day."
Jimmy Milas is a graduate of Westchester Middle School and a parishioner at Mary, Mother of Divine Grace.
After the closure of St. Joseph High School, the Eagle Project is still awaiting its new home.