Identical twin sisters Selena and Alison Zhang, both 17, became the first girls in Brooklyn to achieve the Eagle Scout rank.
Eagle Scout is globally recognized as the highest and most prestigious rank in the Scouts BSA, formerly known as Boy Scouts of America. Several prominent figures have achieved Eagle Scout, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.
Girls were allowed to join the Scouts BSA after the name change in 2019. The Zhang twins opted for the outdoor opportunities provided to boys rather than arts and crafts offered in Girls Scouts.
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“I was able to shoot a gun [and] I was able to go camping, kayaking, water rafting,” Selina told ABC7. “At the same time, it taught me a lot of leadership skills like how to become a leader.”
Both twins are straight-A students who have each earned more than 100 badges that adorn their sashes. When Selena and Alison first moved to the U.S. from China, they were bullied by their peers but have grown to find their passions and are hoping to pave the way for future Asian American generations scouts.
The twins are also working on a project to address the ongoing issues of Asian hate crime.
“It’s really sad to see on the news how the elderly are being pushed down the track, getting punched in the face [and] set on fire. Really sad,” Alison was quoted as saying.