Muhammad Hajaj earns first ever Golden Eagle Scholarship

Golden Eagle Scholarship winner Muhammad HajajMuhammad Hajaj is a sophomore studying finance and science at Emory University. Last month he became the first ever recipient of the Atlanta Area Council’s Golden Eagle Scholarship. Muhammad, an Eagle Scout from Troop 12 in Roswell, was awarded $1,000 and the opportunity to serve as the Eagle Scout speaker at the annual Golden Eagle Luncheon.

The Golden Eagle Scholarship is awarded to an exemplary Scout from Metro-Atlanta who is between the ages of 16 and 20 years old and has been registered in a BSA program within the past three years. Scouts nominated for the award submitted speeches outlining what their Scouting experience meant to them and how it has impacted their lives.

In his speech, Muhammad explained that Scouting “means [service to] community, family and personal development.” He stressed the importance of giving back to the community for all it gives to each of us. Quoting the late boxer Muhammad Ali, he framed his service through Scouting as “paying the rent for my time here on Earth.”

“Scouting afforded me so many opportunities to see and work with my family,” Muhammad said, “and though I don’t have a blood bond with the other Scouts in my Troop…some of the strongest relationships I’ve built have been through Scouting.”

Finally, he said, that during his time in Scouting he could “see [himself] growing academically, socially, ethically and spiritually.”

Muhammad says the greatest lesson he took away from Scouting was goal setting. From building a fire to earning the Eagle Scout rank, he asserted, Scouting reinforced a “nuanced process” of identifying achievable goals and determining the steps necessary to attain them. “Scouting is an environment for sustainable growth,” Muhammad told the audience at the Golden Eagle Luncheon, “it’s being the best person, the best community member and the best family you can be…asking for no recognition in return.”

As the first recipient of the Golden Eagle Scholarship, Muhammad Hajaj sets an impressive example for Scouts across Atlanta. The Atlanta Area Council is proud to recognize him for his leadership and achievements. You can watch his speech in its entirety below: