The Governor of American Samoa, the Honorable Governor Tulafono T.A. Togiola, presented teenager Xavier Magic Tuipelehake with his Eagle Scout Award recently.
Xavier, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, received his award for identifying a need at a local school and then collecting over one thousand educational books to its library.
Governor Togiola congratulated Xavier for his service to the children and teachers of the school and then admonished him to continue to "lift people around you in positive ways”.
“Just as the eagle soars high in the heavens," he said, "you must also soar high in the service of people of the territory, your village, and your family”.
“Never wait for people to do good, but do well for your people…always working jointly with them to strengthen our community and our territory of American Samoa.”
Xavier is a member of the Latter-day Saints' Auto Ward, Pago Pago Samoa Stake. He received his Eagle Scout award at the Church meetinghouse in Auto, last Friday [28 December 2012]. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, received his Eagle Scout award at the Auto ward chapel this past Friday [28 December 2012].
The Court of Honor was presided over by President Pekika Fanene of the Pago Pago Samoa Stake. The ceremony was well attended by the Aloha Council’s local Boys Scout of America’s Executive Committee members, overseen by Bishop Fiamatai Fiatau who is also the Aloha Council’s District Executive for the Territory of American Samoa.
Xavier is the son of the late Mr. Aila Tuipelehake and Mrs. Moli Frost Tuipelehake of the village of Amaua.
Xavier’s Eagle project consisted of a book-drive to help fill the Tuato’o Alofau Elementary School library which was previously lacking sufficient books to fill its shelves.
According to Church spokesperson, Kalilimoku Hunt, Xavier's project will "enable aspiring young students to seek and find the academic resources needed to complete research on personal issues of interest, and for book-report assignments for higher scholastic achievements."
Having attended the elementary school prior to Fagaitua High School, Xavier had first-hand knowledge of the lack of books, and how that hindered learning.
So, intent on making a difference, he distributed flyers, walking to all the local institutes of higher learning requesting their help by providing books for the elementary school students.
He was able to collect over a thousand books which were turned-over to the school Principal and the school librarian earlier this year.
By completing the project he satisfied the requirements for his Eagle Scout award, the highest award issued by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) .
Another speaker at the ceremony, President Maselino Tautu, urged Xavier and all others present to “remember to always serve God first in everything that you do, and be exemplary in those actions.”
He added: “The eagle must never fold his wings to rest for too long, but continually search for the good of all in your community and territory. For by serving the people you are essentially serving your God in Heaven."
President Sonny Aiono of the Pago Malaeimi Stake also spoke. He has been a mentor to Xavier during his years in high school.
"Just as the eagle soars higher in the heavens with a perspective higher than other fowls of their class, so must your perspective be higher than others of your classmates," he said.
"Set your goals high and then go out to achieve them. Look to God, who is high above in the heavens and serve Him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. Put Him first and he will always remember to bless your life in all your endeavours."