Josh Lewis is a soft-spoken young man with a quick smile. His “pride and joy” is his white Ford Mustang and he enjoys driving it around town. But there is more going on with the high school senior than a great car and looking forward to graduation. Lewis is on the last leg of his journey to reach the highest ranking in Boy Scouts.

Last weekend, he distributed collection boxes at Brookshire’s in Midlothian for his Eagle Scout community service project – a clothing drive to benefit Manna House. Those donations will be picked up Monday and delivered to the organization. The clothing drive will continue from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, when the collection site will be the Scout Hut, located at 301 S. 5th St. in Midlothian.

“I chose Manna House because I like helping people. I drive by there a lot and there are always a lot of people there. I figured they need more donations,” Lewis said.

 To earn the Eagle Scout rank, a boy must progress through the ranks, earn 21 merit badges, serve six months in a troop leadership position, complete the leadership of a service project, take part in a scoutmaster conference and complete an Eagle Scout board of review.

Lewis is a member of Midlothian Scout Troop 512. After receiving approval for his project, he presented it to Kim Mitchell, manager of Heaven’s Attic Thrift Store operated by Manna House.

“I went there and there were tons of people buying stuff. I proposed my project to the manager and she signed off on it,” he said. “She said to let her know if there was anything I needed help with.”

Lewis said he has been active in scouting since second grade and has benefited from the activities.

“It’s fun. You meet people, go camping and do fun stuff,” he said. “A bunch of kids think it’s dumb, but it’s fun camping and getting to cook out in the wild.”

Lewis attends Midlothian High School. His family moved from Florida to Midlothian in his sophomore year. He said his scoutmaster in Florida passed away from a heart attack.

“The troop fell apart and a lot of the records were lost, so I had to do a lot over again,” he said. “I had just put it off, but I promised too many people. It’s a lot of work, they don’t just give it to you.”

He said his mother and brother have inspired him to stay motivated. Bright and Bright, an accounting firm in Dallas where his mother is employed, is sponsoring the cost of the project.

“Eagle is very respected and you get a lot of opportunities through that,” he said. “There are a lot of benefits in scouting. But when you get older and put Eagle Scout on your resume – that looks good for you.”

Lewis is the son of Penny and Kim Dunn and he has one brother and two sisters. He has been accepted to Tarleton State University in Stephenville and plans to pursue a career as a pharmacist.

Contact Rebecca at rebecca.hertz@wninews.com or call 469-517-1451.