UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at age 3, Trent Maton credits hard work and a lot of help from friends and family for his achievements in the Boy Scouts.
On March 30, Trent will officially become an Eagle Scout -- the highest rank you can make.
"Work as hard as you can," Trent Maton said. "Put as much effort in as you can. Just persist, no matter what. Just overcome it and eventually if you keep doing that you will reach your goals and you will become an Eagle Scout."
Kira Maton, Trent's mom, said her son loved scouting from the very beginning. She said Troop 99 in Union County welcomed her son like everyone else.
"Scouting has made such a difference in his life," Kira Maton said. "When he was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three, we had no idea what his future would hold for him and seeing him now achieving the highest rank in Scouting the Eagle Scout Rank and all of the challenges he's had to overcome over the years. We just couldn't be more proud. He just felt accepted, and at home, and cared for."
District Head Richard Shields said Eagle Scouts like Trent Maton are an inspiration for all Scouts.
"It's a big deal," Shields said. "Having Trent earn his Eagle Scout status is great for all the boys and girls of Union County."
Each Eagle Scout must complete a big community project in the community. Trent Maton's project built a walking path along the North Carolina Transportation Museum. 'Railroading' was his favorite badge activity.
Trent Maton has one more year of High School, then he hopes to pursue a career in animation.