An Indiana teen is now the first Black female to earn the Eagle Scout rank in northwest Indiana, joining a remarkable class of girls and women across the country.
Kendall Jackson is just one of 21 Black females to reach this achievement in the country.
“I’m honored, I’m blessed, I’m humbled by this experience,” said Jackson. “I’ve learned a lot to reach this rank of Eagle has just been absolutely amazing.”
Jackson is part of Troop 53 in Gary, Indiana and she’s now part of the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts in America.
“I’ve met so many wonderful people and the scout program alone has taught me a lot about life and being prepared,” she said.
The 17-year-old is a senior at Lake Central High School and grew up in a scouting family.
“I wanted to be part of the scouts program because that's all I ever known,” she said.
Ever since she was one, Jackson said she would tag along with her brother and mom on scouting trip, learned how to set fires and other survival skills, and ended up teaching the other boys how to recite the scout oath and law.
“I picked up some of the skills that they learned so when they finally allowed girls into the scouting program I was ready to go,” she said.
Jackson joined the program back in Feb. 2019 and was on a mission to earn the highest rank before turning 18.
“I have 39 merit badges,” she said. “I do have more than my brother. He has 27.”
She said her brother is very supportive of her.
“He was definitely proud of me it was a healthy competition,” she said.
Jackson was recognized last week at a ceremony for her eagle scout achievement. Her brother helped to do the special honors.
“You know I always say blessed as a mother who has a son and a daughter who are both eagle scouts,” said Jackson’s mother Kellauna Mack.
Mack is so proud of her daughter who is graduating this year and will attend Howard University in the fall.
“More than just becoming an Eagle Scout,” said Mack. “I am proud of her for accomplishing what she set out do to.”
It took a lot of hard work, but Jackson said the experience was worth it and encourage other young girls to consider joining the program.
“Scouting can be so much more than just merit badges and writing stuff down and doing the skills,” she said. “It can be a lifestyle. Just give it your all and just to don't give up on it.”
Jackson said for her eagle scout project she put together a day of workshop, presentations, and panel discussions to help prepare students for the real world.