Two Austin Community College District (ACC) employees have been honored with the 2021 William H. Spurgeon III Award from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Capitol Area Council, the highest recognition for individuals and organizations contributing significant leadership to the BSA Exploring Program for youth.
The recipients, Dr. Hector Aguilar, Continuing Education dean, and Dr. Shasta Buchanan, Student Affairs vice president, both serve on the BSA Capitol Area Council Exploring District Committee which works toward expanding early character and career education to youth aged 10-20.
Aguilar has served on the Exploring District Committee and chaired the Central Texas STEM Explorers Post #1973 since 2017, coordinating hundreds of site visits and conferences for Explorers. In 2018, Aguilar formally accepted the role of the program's first-ever Exploring District program chair, where he has been able to use his expertise, educational background, and influence to expand youth access to area employers. With the 2020 COVID-19 restrictions on in-person site visits, Aguilar worked to quickly pivot his program to a virtual environment while still offering free, live conversations connecting youth and young adults with professionals in public safety, healthcare, cybersecurity, A.I., and more.
Buchanan has served on the Exploring District Committee since 2018. Her expertise in education has helped shape the Exploring program's aims of early character and career education. In 2019, Buchanan formally accepted the role of Exploring District membership chair and helped connect Exploring to ACC's College and High School Relations office which ultimately led to the "Exploring to ACC Career Academies" pathway. Despite the pandemic's restrictions, the plan has already borne fruit in new emerging Explorer posts and clubs. Buchanan also advises across the table to help the Exploring program and funding committees.
Aguilar and Buchanan will be honored in a virtual awards presentation on the BSA Capitol Area Council website Saturday, March 27.