MANDEVILLE, La. — Olivia Stewart has a bunch of badges she’s earned over the years, but her most recent one is really special.
“I’m the most proud of my eagle badge because it signifies that I was actually able to accomplish the Eagle Scout rank, and I’m so glad I get to wear it now,” said Stewart.
Her new “Eagle Scout” title is historic. Stewart is the first female in Louisiana to ever earn the rank in the Boy Scouts of America organization, and her interest started before she even joined.
“When I was little, I would always tag along with my brother and he was in cub scouts. I would basically do everything the boys did, but then my brother got into Boy Scouts and I wasn’t allowed to tag along anymore,” said Stewart.
But in 2018, the scouting organization announced that girls could also join.
“I sat down with my dad and I was like, okay, I want to do this and my dad was like ‘Great, if you want to do this, you should go for eagle’ and I’m like, I want to go for eagle, let’s do that!” said Stewart.
So Stewart wrote down a plan, and after years of hard work, she broke barriers and earned the rank of Eagle Scout, but she’s not the only lady with the title.
“It was a really long process, I started in 2019 working towards it,” said Emma Lockwood, who also received her Eagle Scout rank this month.
Two young ladies, both part of the first class of female scouts in Louisiana to achieve this high honor. For Olivia’s mom, seeing her daughter constantly striving, is moving.
“I think Olivia is a good role model for young ladies. She’s exceeded my expectations of what my daughter was going to be when she got older,” said Rebecca Stewart, Olivia’s mom.
Olivia says she wants all young girls to know they can be anything they put their mind to.
“I’ve dealt with people telling me like, you’re not going to be able to do it, it’s not going to happen, you shouldn’t be in scouts. And we rose above that and accomplished the highest rank in scouts and I’m so proud of us,” said Stewart.
For these Eagle Scouts, the sky is the limit.
If you’re interested in learning more about St. Tammany Parish’s local scouts, Olivia’s troop meets every Thursday evening at VFW Hall 8720 in Abita Springs. For more information, visit beascout.org.