Austin Niec
Austin Niec For his Eagle Scout Project, Austin wanted to make a difference in Middle Tennessee and do something he had not seen before. He created "Books for Inmates," a book drive to replenish the libraries in the Davidson County Corrections Facilities. Austin surpassed his goal of 300 books when he delivered over 3,000 books to Sheriff Hall in October. The project went beyond simply collecting books, becoming a community endeavor through his partnership with Caliber Coffee Company in Donelson, TN, which became the unofficial headquarters of the project. After local media shared news of his project, a publisher even donated 200 newly printed books on faith for the inmates. Austin's research showed that books help inmates feel connected to the outside world, help keep their minds sharp, help with spiritual healing, and calm emotions. Many inmates use books to help with their education and communication skills, which help them to stay out of prison once they are released. Ultimately, the book drive became a sustainable project by keeping books out of landfills and made a difference toward recidivism. Through this project, he strengthened his communication skills through email, social media, writing and design. The book drive will showcase his legacy for years to come as every book has a sticker in the front that has the Scout Law, his name and a reference to "Books for Inmates."