PICKENS—Eagle Scout David Kwietniewski has earned a lot of fans in his young life.
One of his most ardent supporters is Phillippe A. Cournoyer, who calls the 17-year-old “a rarity in this world.”
Cournoyer, an American Legion commander of zone-one, nominated Kwietniewski for Boy Scout of the Year and had his faith in the youth validated when he was selected as the organization’s state winner.
“I was surprised and pretty happy about it,” Kwietniewski said. “Boy Scouts in general has made such a positive impact on my life.”
The youth is an altar server at Holy Cross Church in Pickens and lives in the small town of Six Mile.
He received his award June 1 at the Hyatt-Regency in Greenville, surrounded by friends and family, including his pastor, Father Emmanuel Efiong.
People describe Kwietniewski as humble, laid back and super intelligent, especially when it comes to computers. The Scout just laughs when he hears what other people say about him, proving his humility.
Cournoyer, who describes himself as technologically unsavvy, said the young man is always willing to help out when his computer develops glitches, and Kwietniewski said that’s what he plans to study when he starts Clemson in the fall.
The young man skipped 10th grade and is interested in a career in cyber warfare sciences.
For his Eagle Scout project, Kwietniewski teamed up with members of the American Legion to identify all the veterans buried at Sunrise Cemetery and then crafted a marker/flag pole holder for each of them.
Every Memorial Day, Legion members honor their deceased comrades by placing flags at their gravestones. It can be a tedious process to walk the graveyard, searching out each veteran, and the Scout wanted to make it easier.
He devised a holder by cutting conduit piping and covered it in red, white and blue, plus repaired the cemetery’s flag pole and planted perennials at its base.
Kwietniewski encourages other youth to become Scouts.
“It is a lot of hard work,” he acknowledged. “You just have to keep at it and persevere. It is worth it.”