(ETH) – A biologically female Blacksburg, Virginia, high school student has attained the highest Boy Scouts rank possible — Eagle Scout — making the nonbinary teen the first ever to receive such an award according to TheBlaze.
The teen came out as nonbinary in 2020. Jacqueline “Jack” Cooper is the first female in the Blue Ridge Mountains’ Boy Scouts of America council to receive such an honor. Cooper, who joined the Boy Scouts of America alongside her brother when she was just 10 years old, told the station that she was pleased to be able to officially join the Boy Scouts in 2019 despite being a biological female.
“I always felt a little left out because of course, I was the sibling, and I was a female, and it was groups of boys,” Jack told the station. “But since I was able to join as a true member, it felt more inclusive, and I was putting in more work.”
According to WDBJ7, Cooper’s troop became the first female troop in the Blue Ridge Mountains Council. Members meet weekly at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Blacksburg and virtually during the pandemic. As a member, Cooper led young scouts, earned merit badges, and built a play kitchen for Blacksburg United Methodist Preschool.
“They needed more utilities outside, so they could have a program this spring with COVID requirements, so I started planning that, it took a lot of planning,” Cooper explained.
It’s Cooper’s hard work and dedication that led to the Eagle Scout Rank this year. “I’ve always seen Eagle as something that really improves character and overall skill in everyday life. I also just really like the idea of having Eagle, like that’s something super exciting to me and not that many people get that in their life,” Cooper said.