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Parsippany Celebrates Historic Achievement: Ananya Kasarla, First Female Eagle Scout

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany joyously welcomes Ananya Kasarla as the First Female Eagle Scout, marking a significant milestone in the local Boy Scouts of America program. Historically, the prestigious Eagle Scout rank has been achieved solely by boys or young men. However, with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to admit girls in 2019, Parsippany now celebrates its inaugural female Eagle Scout in Ananya. Ananya’s achievement also holds the additional distinction as she becomes the 101st Eagle within Parsippany’s Troop 72. With this honor, Ananya proudly assumes the title of Parsippany’s first female Eagle Scout, a testament to her dedication and leadership within the community.

The Eagle Court of Honor was held on Sunday, March 10 at All Saints Academy.

Ananya Kasarla’s family, including her father Swachender Kasarla, mother Krupali Bandi, and brother Aditya Kasarla, celebrates her extraordinary accomplishment as the First Female Eagle Scout in Parsippany.

The honor and distinction of the Eagle Scout rank can only be achieved through hard work and commitment to the ideals of the Scouting movement. The achievement is so rare, that only 6% of Scouts earn the Eagle rank. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million Scouts.

Ms. Magda Menner serves as the Scoutmaster for Parsippany Troop 72G, providing guidance and leadership to the troop’s members, including Ananya Kasarla, the First Female Eagle Scout.

Once a Scout advances to Eagle Scout, they will remain an Eagle for the rest of their life regardless of age or participation in Scouting. Eagle Scouts are expected to set an example for other Scouts and to become the leaders in life that they have demonstrated themselves to be in Scouting. As such, they have disproportionately represented in the military, service academy graduates, higher education and academia, major professions, the clergy, business, and politics.

Ananya selected her brother, Aditya Kasarla, to serve as the master of ceremonies for the special occasion, adding a personal touch to the celebration of her achievement as the First Female Eagle Scout.

Ananya has been part of Scouts BSA, Troop 72G since April 2019 when she was the first girl to join the troop. The troop slowly grew from a single girl to seven others over the last four years.

Cathryn Smith lighting the Eagle Trail ceremony signifies a poignant moment in the celebration, likely illuminating the path of achievement and leadership for future scouts, particularly with the historic milestone of Ananya Kasarla becoming the First Female Eagle Scout.

Ananya undertook her Eagle project at Celebrate the Children, focusing on constructing an outdoor classroom adjacent to their environmental center. The purpose of this project was to provide students with a conducive environment for outdoor learning and activities, fostering a connection with nature in an open-air setting.

Ananya completed her Eagle project at Celebrate the Children in Denville. Her project involved building an outdoor classroom next to their environmental center so students would be able to work and learn outside in an open space. It consisted of three picnic tables that could fit six people each as well as an easel and chalkboard for teachers. The project was completed at the end of July 2023, and the area is currently used by students when classes are held outside.

Ananya enlisted the help of volunteers to assist with her Eagle project at Celebrate the Children in Denville. Together, they worked diligently to bring her vision of building an outdoor classroom to fruition, contributing their time and effort to benefit the students and community.

The volunteers are spreading the mulch as part of Ananya’s Eagle project at Celebrate the Children. Her project centered on constructing an outdoor classroom near the environmental center, aiming to create a space where students could engage in outdoor learning and activities. This initiative aimed to foster a deeper connection with nature and provide a conducive environment for educational experiences in an open-air setting.

Ananya was the Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 72G for the last two years. She attended National Youth Leadership Training as a participant in 2021. Ananya was interviewed and asked to staff NYLT in 2022. Parsippany only has one Scout’s BSA female troop within the town. She graduated from the Academy of Math, Science, and Engineering at Morris Hills High School in June 2023, and is currently a freshman at Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, majoring in Biology. 

Ananya’s mom, Ms. Bandi, proudly pins the Eagle medal to her daughter’s uniform, symbolizing the culmination of Ananya’s hard work, dedication, and perseverance on her journey to becoming the First Female Eagle Scout in Parsippany. It’s a heartfelt moment that signifies not only Ananya’s achievement but also the support and encouragement she has received from her family throughout her scouting journey.
In recognition of her mother’s unwavering support and encouragement throughout her scouting journey, Ananya presents the Mother’s Eagle Pin and delicately pins it on her mother, Ms. Bandi. This heartfelt gesture symbolizes the profound gratitude and appreciation Ananya holds for her mother’s role in helping her achieve the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. It’s a touching moment that celebrates the bond between mother and daughter and acknowledges the invaluable support of family in the pursuit of dreams and aspirations.
Ananya, recognizing her father’s steadfast support and guidance along her journey to becoming an Eagle Scout, presents him with an Eagle lapel pin as a token of her appreciation. This gesture symbolizes the importance of his encouragement and wisdom in helping her achieve this significant milestone. It’s a touching moment that honors the bond between father and daughter and acknowledges the invaluable role of family in shaping and supporting one’s aspirations and accomplishments.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio proudly presented Ananya with an Eagle and an American Flag, symbolizing not only her achievement as the First Female Eagle Scout but also her dedication to patriotism and service to her community. This gesture highlights the significance of her accomplishment and the recognition she receives from local leadership, further inspiring Ananya and others to continue making a positive impact in Parsippany-Troy Hills.
Assemblyman Brian Bergen and Assemblyman Jay Webber, standing side by side, jointly present Ananya with a Proclamation, acknowledging her historic achievement as the First Female Eagle Scout in Parsippany. This official document serves as a testament to Ananya’s dedication, leadership, and service to her community, as well as a recognition of her trailblazing role in breaking barriers within the scouting movement. The proclamation honors Ananya’s commitment to excellence and serves as an inspiration to others to strive for their own goals and aspirations.

Ananya has continuously demonstrated leadership in her school, scouting, and community activities.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman Matt McGrath extends his heartfelt congratulations to Ananya for her remarkable achievement as the First Female Eagle Scout in the community.

Ananya earned 24 merit badges, including the 14 that are required. First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Citizenship in Society, Communications, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Swimming or Hiking or Cycling, Camping and Family Life. She earned 10 additional merit badges, totaling 24 merit badges.

Keith Hawkins, Jr., Keith Nguyen, Ananya Kasarla, and Charlie Sonzogni, pictured alongside Cheri Alexander, Administrative Generalist of Celebrate the Children, all have one thing in common: they are Eagle Scouts who chose Celebrate the Children for their own personal Eagle projects. Their collective efforts demonstrate a commitment to serving their community and making a positive impact on the lives of others. This shared dedication to community service and leadership exemplifies the values of scouting and highlights the importance of giving back to those in need.

Ananya has exceeded the basic requirements to become an Eagle Scout, successfully passed her board of review, and thus, earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Troop 72 was founded in 1954 and served the boys of the Parsippany Area until March 12, 2019. On March 12, 2019, Rev. Msgr. Herbert K. Tillyer signed the Scouts BSA New Unit Application for a Scouts BSA linked troop, thereby creating two Troop 72’s.  This opens a new chapter in Troop 72 history, where we can now provide the same outstanding program to both boys and girls.

Ananya is captured holding a plaque she received from Celebrate the Children, commemorating her dedication and contribution to the organization. This moment symbolizes her commitment to serving her community and making a positive impact on the lives of others, reflecting the values of scouting and the spirit of volunteerism.

Scouts hailing from various corners of Parsippany and beyond are represented. They attend schools such as Brooklawn Middle School, Central Middle School, Parsippany High School, and Parsippany Hills High School, as well as other institutions beyond the Parsippany public school system.

Troop 72 is sponsored by Saint Peter the Apostle Church and meets in the cafeteria at All Saints Academy. They attend Scout Sunday at Saint Peter’s, and their annual food drive benefits the Saint Peter food pantry.

Troop 72 participates in community service work with multiple churches and civic organizations. They welcome any requests from the community and are always happy to help.

For more information on Scouts BSA Troop 72 Parsippany, click here.

Betty Lagitch, representing the Women’s Club of Parsippany, proudly presented Ananya with a certificate in recognition of her achievement as the First Female Eagle Scout. Ananya’s mother, Krupali Bandi, looked on with pride as her daughter received this honor.

Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, April 2024. Click here to view the magazine.

Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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