For the first time in history, blind triplets have earned the highest ranking in the Boy Scouts of America.
Leo, Nick and Steven Cantos did it all: whitewater rafting, ziplining, archery, knot-tying, learning first-aid skills and more without being able to see.
They mastered every badge required to become Eagle Scouts. The Boy Scouts said the 18-year-old triplets weren’t allowed any shortcuts and they earned the ranking under the same conditions as their peers.
“The badges we earned helped us become better people,” Leo Cantos said.
More than a hundred family, friends and fellow Scouts, as well as the United States Sec. of Labor, R. Alexander Acosta, came to see them receive the honor at a ceremony Wednesday night.
The teens from Arlington, Virginia, celebrated their achievement with their adoptive father, Ollie Cantos, who is also blind. He met the triplets when they were 11 and found them living in a life of fear.
“They have recognized the fact that contrary to their earlier years, when they were bullied, when they were told that they weren’t worth anything by other kids — They now know with an absolute certainty not only do they have inherent priceless value, but so does everybody else,” Ollie Cantos said.
Nick Cantos said his father helped him to keep going when he was scared.
“A person who shows courage in a time of fear can do anything,” Nick Cantos said at the ceremony.
Leo, Nick and Steven said their favorite part of the accomplishment was their community service project because it allowed them to help those less fortunate.
As a surprise, the teens received Aira smart glasses, which will connect them to someone who can see their surroundings in real time. The glasses will help them with daily tasks and activities like navigating busy streets and recognizing faces.