ANAHEIM — Boy Scout Troop 578, sponsored by Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC) in Anaheim, has recognized five scouts who recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
On Aug. 8, these scouts were recognized at an Eagle Court of Honor. The ceremony was celebrated with their families, friends and fellow troop members. The boys were presented with Eagle neckerchiefs, badges, and pins.
To be considered for the Eagle Scout rank, the highest award a Boy Scout may earn, a candidate must be active in his troop, hold a leadership position, earn at least 21 merit badges (including 13 Eagle required badges), complete a leadership service project benefiting his local community, and receive letters of recommendation.
For the boys, the leadership skills, organizational skills, sense of community and commitment are a foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship. The Eagle Award project is the culmination of all the work the boys put forth to advance through the ranks as well as something that fulfills a need within the community and leads to positive change.
Matthew Preston Okazaki, son of Ray and Sharon Okazaki, is a graduate of Cypress High School. He is an AP scholar. and during his four years of high school, Matthew was heavily involved with the basketball team (Varsity, JV, and Frosh/Soph) and golf (Varsity and JV). In addition, outside of high school, he participated in the Suburban Optimist (SOC) and Orange Coast Optimist (OCO) sporting and community service programs, holding many leadership positions.
Matthew was part of Troop 578 since he was a Tiger Cub. He crossed over after 5th grade and became part of the Kuma Patrol. He appreciated all the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities Boy Scouts gave him, including canoeing in Canada, hiking through New Mexico, traveling to Belize, fishing, shotgun shooting, skiing, and making lifelong friends. Scouting also helped him gain a sense of leadership and the importance of passing on what you’ve learned from scouts down to those coming up. Scouting has helped him gain knowledge that will help him through college and in life.
For his Eagle project, Matthew chose to build bookshelves for the Clinton Boys and Girls Club. The previous bookshelves they were using were four shelves high which were too tall for the children. As a result, he decided to build two two-shelf-high bookshelves for them to use. Building two bookshelves also helped section off an area in the classroom for a “reading corner” in which the kids could focus on reading in a peaceful setting. His project advisor was ASM Sean Suzuki.
Matthew is currently attending San Diego State University, majoring in environmental science in hopes of becoming an environmental engineer.
Kyle Shinji Suzuki, son of Sean and Wendy Suzuki, is a graduate of Brea Olinda High School. During his four years of high school, Kyle was involved with the basketball program. In addition, he participated in the Link Crew, National Honors Society, and Key Club, where he served as secretary.
As a scout of Troop 578, Kyle took full advantage of the high adventure opportunities that Scouts provided. Many of the outings in Scouts took him out into the true beauty of nature, where he became detached from the stress of the real world. Some of his favorite outings consisted of going to Belize, Northern Tier, Philmont, and summiting Mt. Whitney.
Being with the troop for seven years, Kyle has had much leadership experience, and he has grown more confident and mature from his time with the troop. He started as scribe and quartermaster, and eventually earned his way to work up to troop scribe, historian, and troop instructor.
For his Eagle project, Kyle constructed a lost-and-found box as well as a bookshelf for the office at the elementary school he previously attended, Country Hills Elementary. Country Hills has held a special place in Kyle’s heart. Elementary school was where he set the foundation for the person he would become and he gives much credit to Country Hills, which did a wonderful job of utilizing their teaching abilities to instill the traits it takes to become a successful and respectable person. He realized that the school’s lost-and-found box and office bookshelf were pretty worn down and decided to create new and improved ones to give back. His project advisor was ASM Glen Nagamoto.
Kyle is currently attending Fullerton College as a biology major in hopes of eventually transferring to a four-year university.
Trent Kazuma Tsushio, son of Robert and Pamela Tsushio, is a graduate of Cypress High School where he was a three-year basketball member, one-year percussionist member, and one-year ASB member. Trent also participated in the Orange County Optimist Octagon Club for four years and played in the Orange County Optimist basketball teams during that time. He was an Honor Roll student and AP scholar who loves to learn about science with a particular affinity towards biological science.
Trent is currently attending UC Irvine with a major in biological science.
Scouting has been in Trent’s life for 14 years. He is grateful for the values and ideas that Scouting has taught him, as well as the many experiences and friendships that he has made along the way. The lessons that he has learned from his hiking, camping, and conservation projects were especially important to him. His greatest physical achievement was climbing to the summit of Mount Fuji in Japan. Trent also appreciates the knowledge, leadership, and inspiration that he has gained from both the adult leadership and the trip to Japan Jamboree, the greatest of which being breaking out of his comfort zone.
For his Eagle project, Trent led his fellow scouts in the planning, designing, and building of an upsized Connect Four yard game for the Boys and Girls Club of Cypress. Trent has participated in some Eagle Scout projects within Troop 578 and decided to do one that gave back to the system that both his brother and himself were in. The daycare system is an underrated service and not many people know the difficulties of running one. As such, the Connect Four yard game gave an outlet for the kids that he was once like. It gave him a great sense of honor and accomplishment when he presented his yard game to the head of community service of the Boys and Girls Club of Cypress. The community head put it to use immediately, and it is still being used today. His project advisor was Michael Nishida, assistant scoutmaster and father of two scouts in Troop 578..
Kyle Jotaro Acosta, son of Allen and Kim Acosta, is a recent graduate of Cerritos High School. During high school, he completed the four-year computer science pathway and enjoyed math and sciences. He played SEYO basketball for the NYS Wolves from 2nd grade through his senior year. He was also a volunteer coach for the NYS Rascals program throughout middle and high school.
Kyle’s scouting career started in the 3rd grade after an invitation to come to a recruitment night activity. He really enjoyed all of the activities and crossed over to Troop 578. The first year of Boy Scouts proved to seal his love for the outdoors and troop activities. He chose to continue in the troop and became an active member. He held many positions — quartermaster, scribe, assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, patrol instructor, and senior assistant patrol leader. His favorite activities included all summer camps, his 12-day trek in the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and the Nippon Scout Jamboree in Suzu, Japan and Japan tour. Scouts gave him so many valuable experiences, leadership and life skills, and the opportunity to travel and meet people from all over the world.
His Eagle project consisted of building one plinko game and two cornhole games for the Norwalk Youth Sports Club (NYS). They will be able to use the games during the Southeast Japanese School and Community Center’s annual festival in the summer. He worked under the guidance of his Eagle project advisor, ASM Sutai Wu.
He is very grateful and would like to thank Troop 578 and all those who helped him along his journey to the Eagle rank and for all of the experiences and memories from the program.
Kyle is currently attending California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, majoring in computer engineering.
Daniel Toshishige Iba, son of Al and Patty Iba, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Huntington Beach High School. He played for the school basketball team for three years. He also was a four-year member of the Huntington Beach High School Model United Nations Program.
Daniel’s involvement in scouting began with Cub Scout Pack 101 in Huntington Beach. After he achieved his Arrow of Light award, he crossed over to Boy Scout Troop 578 at the age of 10. There, he joined his older brother, Chris, and father, who was an active assistant scoutmaster. Some of Daniel’s favorite scouting memories included the annual deep-sea fishing trips, backpacking at Henninger Flats, camping in Belize, participating in the 2018 Japan Jamboree, and being around his friends in the troop.
For his Eagle project, Daniel designed and built a portable bulletin board for Orange County Buddhist Church to give back to the community where the troop meets. He worked under the guidance of Eagle adviser ASM Glen Nagamoto and former Scoutmaster John Nishimoto. With the help of his friends from school, fellow scouts, assistant scoutmasters, and parents, he was able to present his finished project to OCBC before turning 18.
After finishing high school, Daniel is attending San Diego State University, majoring in business management with a focus on entrepreneurship.