OWASSO, Okla. — Abby Hensley, a recent Owasso High School graduate, achieved the Boy Scouts of America's top rank and made history in two different ways.
"I'm the first female Eagle Scout in this district, and I'm the first female Cherokee as well," Hensley said.
It's a dream come true for the 18-year-old.
"I always wanted to be in Scouts, but I was always on the sidelines because girls weren't allowed to be in Scouts," she said.
When that changed in 2019, Hensley signed up, following in her family's footsteps.
"I was in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts when I was a kid," her father Joseph Hensley said. "My dad was a Scout Master, and my uncle is a Scout Ranger, so it was really exciting for us to have the opportunity for Abby to join us with the scouting legacy in the family."
It turned out she was really good at it too.
"A few months into my scouting journey, I decided I wanted to be an Eagle," Abby Hensley said.
Not only did she rise to Scouting's highest rank, but she was also the first one in the Will Rogers District.
"Abby has grit. When something gets difficult for her, she rolls up her sleeves and does not let it conquer her," her father said. "She's tough and ready to take on the challenge."
According to the OK Scouts Indian Nation Council, only 6% of Scouts make Eagle Scout status. For many, the process takes five years, but Hensley did it in two.
She said the pandemic gave her extra time and inspired her Eagle Scout Service Project, a Cherokee Marble Pit for the Rogers County Cherokee Association.
"It was a really nice way to bring my cultural background into Scouting," she said. "I got to say this is my culture, and this is what my people did, and this is a little more about me."
The project is extra special since Hensley is now the first female Cherokee Nation citizen to receive the Eagle Scout rank. Her dreams continue to soar.
"My goal is to become a commercial pilot," she said.
She's working on her pilot's license, attending college, and still Scouting.
"I'm sticking around. I love Scouts. I love that it's taught me a lot of leadership skills, and I do a lot of camping. I love being outdoors. I just love everything about it."
Find more information about Scouts near you here.