Miranda Sotelo, 15, who is a 10th grader at Academy of the Canyons, has been awarded the Eagle Project of the Year Award by the Boy Scouts of America Western Los Angeles County Council.
In addition, Sotelo received a $1,000 scholarship as a result of her Eagle Service Project made in 2021, but due to COVID-19, on Oct. 18 the Eagle Recognition Committee recognized projects from the past two years.
According to her mother and Scoutmaster of Troop 2019, Michele Zapata-Sotelo, Sotelo led the troop to create 30 art pieces for an affordable housing complex. The Los Angeles complex is “very special because the 30 studio units are slotted to house young adults who aged out of foster care and became homeless,” Zapata-Sotelo wrote in an email. “Miranda’s plan was to make their home inviting by creating unique works of art to hang on the walls.”
Sotelo submitted the project to be recognized for the Eagle Project of the Year for 2021.
“It was a very simple process, but I’m very honored to be recognized, because I’ve had so many amazing opportunities in Scouting. It’s just been really wonderful,” Sotelo said.
While Sotelo does not believe that she is an artist, she believes in her power to be creative and tell a story.
“Art has never really been my main passion in life, but I definitely enjoy it,” Sotelo said. “I more wanted to give an opportunity for people who aged out of foster care to feel more welcomed since art was a great medium to do that. I took up that opportunity.”
Leading her troop to change the atmosphere of the complex with art pieces, Sotelo thought it would bring more life into the “sterile, blank apartment buildings that the youth and young adults were going to be living in,” Sotelo said.
Deciding to start the project in May 2021, and knowing that the building’s opening would be in late August, Sotelo and her troop spent over three months to complete the pieces.
Being recognized out of the rest of the submissions meant a lot to Sotelo.
“I was over the moon. I felt very proud. I felt very accomplished. I feel honored and fortunate,” Sotelo said.