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Trio of Kansas City Boy Scouts earn prestigious Eagle rank with an extra level of distinction

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This week's Reaching 4 Excellence highlights one troop and three young men: Troop 1006 of Kansas City, Mo., is an all-black Boy Scout troop from the inner-city.

Recently, the trio within the organization received their Eagle Scout rank -- one of the highest honors in Boy Scouts. The accolade hits home especially hard for the troop's Scout leader and those in the urban core.

"This is something that doesn't happen," said Troop 1006 Scout Master Ken McFeders. "I have a total of five Eagles."

The honor was an emotional moment for McFeders.

"To get three of them to go through the program and finish the program at the same time, that is something that is very unusual," he said.

"So many people have sacrificed for you to get to where you are, so you have to do good in order to honor them," said Roman Leapheart.

Leapheart, Bryce Rose and Wesley Phoenix now hold that honor. It's a feat that Scout leaders say is very uncommon in the inner-city.

"Every time that I put on this uniform now that I have this badge on there, it's just like the best feeling in the world," Rose said.

Eighteen-year-old Rose heads to Wichita State University in the coming days and plans to major in biomedical engineering. He wants to design prosthetics one day. His passion stems from his grandfather who lost a limb and eventually passed away as a result of mesothelioma.

"I think that if we would have had the technology that we have today that he would have made it through that disease," Rose said.

Sixteen-year-old Leapheart is a junior at Cristo Rey High School and is an avid outdoorsman.

"We do a lot of fishing, I do a lot of reading," he said.

Also writing -- he has a poem published in a school publication called: "In Our Own Words." Leapheart plans to become a forensic psychologist with the FBI. All three boys are from the urban core, which at times can present its own challenges.

"I could have taken two paths in life. One path wouldn't have gotten me to where I want to be in life," Leapheart said.

"The opportunities that were given to me by achieving this rank and just keeping in scouting, I'll never be able to pay back; it's just incredible," Rose said.

Rose completed his Eagle Scout project by landscaping his local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post. Leapheart collected food for Harvesters Food Bank and cataloged items.

"It was nice to be surrounded by a lot of African American Scouts that were just as passionate about something as I was," Rose said.

Troop 1006 has a total of nine Scouts, five of whom have achieved Eagle rank. Fun fact: Scout Leader McFeders received his Eagle Scout rank in 1960, and his father was a Scout leader -- one of only a handful of black Scout leaders in the nation at the time.

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