We are thrilled to learn that our dear friend Parinaz Homiar Hathiram was recently awarded the Eagle Scout Award. The Eagle Scout Award is the highest award bestowed upon Scouts in the United States. For many decades the Scouts BSA only allowed boys to join Scouting. A rule change in 2019 allowed for girls to be a part of Scouts. Parinaz was part of the first wave of new scouts. And on completion of all the requirements for the Eagle Scout Award, is today probably one of the first, if not the first Zarathushti girl to win this award. Congratulations Parinaz and may you continue to shine as a Scout in the years to come.
When a Hawk Can Also Be an Eagle
Article in Charlotte Latin Stories
From time to time, folks who are new to or unfamiliar with the Latin community may confuse our bird of prey mascot with another raptor. We are proud Hawks, not eagles.
Yet, there are some similarities:
- Both of these species belong to the Accipitridae family.
- Their natural habitat includes forests, grasslands, meadows, deserts, coastal areas, and also urban and suburban areas.
- Both species have very strong and powerful talons, legs, beaks, and wings.
- Hawks and eagles both have very keen eyesight, which means that they can spot prey from a long distance away.
- Both species have feathered legs right down to their feet.
- In both species, the female birds are both larger and stronger than the males.
- Both species are diurnal, which means that they hunt during the day.
On our campus, they are not to be confused. That is, unless you ask an Eagle Scout, a rank many Hawks have achieved in our 50+ years. No two Eagle Scouts are the same. They hail from a variety of backgrounds, create different projects, have unique personalities, stories, and identifiers. But in November, one junior Hawk, who sets herself apart from the rest, became an Eagle Scout.
Did you catch that?
Yes, Pari Hathiram ’24, who has been a Hawk since Grade 9, became the first female Eagle Scout ever at Charlotte Latin School.
Pari grew up around Scouting. Her dad was a Scout leader when she was a small girl in India, and Pari would go with him to troop meetings. At these meetings, the Cubmaster would joke that he would cut off her pigtails so that she could join the CubPack (only boys were allowed).
Her family moved to Hong Kong, where she joined the Brownies (Scouting for girls ages 6–12) for a few years, but the activities were so different from Boy Scouts. Pari was ready for rugged, rough-and-tumble, learning opportunities and challenges, not “glamping.” Eventually, her dad’s job moved the family to the United States, where she tried to join the Girl Scouts, but they were always at capacity with no place for new children. She then opted, to attend her younger brother’s, Yaz ’28, Cub Scout meetings and activities as a Den Leader. Then, in 2019, when the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) decided to allow females to join, she knew her place. The organization’s older youth program, what was known as “Boy Scouts,” is now called “Scouts BSA” — a change meant to welcome both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 17.
Scouts BSA troops remain single-gender (either all male or all female), and Pari has risen to lead her troop as the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), as a Junior in high school. And in November 2022 — “A really good year,” she describes — she earned the rank of Eagle Scout. “I hope I am inspiring other girls.”
This is unprecedented at Charlotte Latin. We are all inspired.
Breaking the norms is just part of who Pari is. “I could survive in the wild alone for a week if I needed to,” she bravely admits, then quickly corrects herself to add, “but I love talking to people and connecting.” This is evident in her energy. “So I prefer the buddy system.”
Pari came to Latin from Charlotte Preparatory School in Grade 9. “Charlotte Prep and Latin have shaped me,” she said. “With my Eagle Scout project, I wanted to give back in a meaningful way, so I built and planted two raised garden beds at Prep. I wanted to help children learn about vegetables in a hands-on, sustainable, and interactive way.” To this end, she planted tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, and more. The project took her four months to plan and only two days to execute.
Her planning and success with her Eagle project speak to the keen organizational skills she learned both in school and in scouting. In her role as Senior Patrol Leader, she heads up her troop meetings every Thursday night. She plans, creates, and delivers lesson plans, leads activities (including needing to keep her troop — which had grown from 10 to 30 members — motivated virtually during Covid), and organizes competitions and camping trips. “Communication and time management are key,” she explains. “And always be prepared.”
When she described last year as a “really good year,” 2022 also found Pari spending countless hours in the Fab Lab, aiming for her Fab Academy certification. Fab Academy is a fast-paced, hands-on learning experience where students (typically adults) learn rapid prototyping by planning and executing a new project each week, resulting in a personal portfolio of technical accomplishments. Her final project is a Magic Mirror, which talks to you, and has an AI system and a humidity sensor. “The night of our deadline, my friend’s project broke at about 2 a.m. Our projects were due at 5 a.m. I got mine finished, then helped him with his.”
In the Fab Lab and Engineering, as well as in Scouting, she has learned (just as with the oxygen mask on an airplane) you have to help yourself first, and then you are able to help others.
About her undeniable determination, her AP Biology teacher, Dr. Topher Gee, describes her best:
When Pari commits herself to something, she commits completely. Not only does this mean that she dedicates herself to the inevitable challenges that she encounters, but also that she maintains a sense of perspective and proportion as she faces them. Anyone can manage success; Pari chooses to navigate adversity with a sense of humor and a desire to learn. Unencumbered by thoughts of what might have been, she embraces her chosen path and all that it entails. That commitment to the full breadth of her experiences enables Pari to take advantage of the growth opportunities that they afford her.
“If you don’t try, you’ll never know,” Pari simply says.
What does the future hold for Pari? What will she “try” next? She hopes to pursue engineering or medicine, both fields she chooses because they involve helping people.
Keep us posted, Pari!
It seems, for this Hawk/Eagle combo, the sky’s the limit.
Courtney Oates January 26, 2023