Warren T. Yamashita – Troop 578

Warren T. Yamashita, Troop 578, Anaheim      

Warren graduated with his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California (USC) and completed medical school at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Warren was awarded the Stanford Addiction Medicine Fellowship in conjunction with his residency in family medicine in Hawaii.

Professionally, what are you doing to today?

I am currently a Family Medicine Physician and Addiction Medicine Fellow at Stanford University treating patients with diverse substance use disorders ranging from methamphetamine, cannabis, alcohol, heroin, and opioids.  

Why was achieving the rank of Eagle Scout meaningful to you?

Boy Scouts of America and my journey towards the Eagle Scout rank was fundamental in my moral formation.  This character formation was critical in my development as an informed citizen, physician, leader, and public servant, and transition from youth to adult. 

What key skills did you learn in Scouting that has supported your success thus far?

Participating in the Boy Scouts of America taught me the importance of integrity and discipline through every rank from Scout to Eagle.  What I did not realize until later in life was that Boy Scouts taught me the Matthew 25 Principle in the parable of the talents.  Before starting medical school, I grounded my work ethic on this story and titled my blog “The Two Talent Journey”.  Since then I simply followed where God led me and worked hard along the way and can only attribute my achievements to Him and His goodness.  I am looking forward to using the gifts I have received to serve patients with substance use addictions, while advocating for preventative measures to help heal the systemic brokenness and the torn social fabric of our communities and families in America. 

What did you learn from Scouting that impacts your everyday life and how does it apply?

Boy Scouts taught me to experience joy in everything I do.  Whether it was backpacking through the Sierras, catching trout at June Lake, scuba diving in Catalina Island, having an Iron Chef Competition with Top Ramen as the secret ingredient, mapping the constellations at night, leading a Patrol and Troop in a position of leadership, or starting a fire with sparks and steel wool, each activity in Scouting had a key life lesson and opened my eyes to wonder.  Although I fall back into the monotony of life at times, I always try to remember to treat each new day, each conversation or new relationship with an open heart. 

Looking back, how did Scouting help you to get to where you are today?

Scouting taught me the resourcefulness and the confidence to persevere through every challenge.  Whether it was having to complete just one more requirement, conduct an entire Eagle Project from scratch or sit in front of a panel of adults for a Board of Review, Scouting provided a safe environment for me to learn perseverance at a young age, before having to overcome more complex challenges after High School.  Life continues to through seemingly unsurmountable challenges and curve balls thrown at me each day.  Yet, Boy Scouts and specifically, Eagle Scout, always reminds me I stand with a great cloud of witnesses who have overcome adversity.  From achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, I know I can overcome the next challenge in time.

What was your one best memory of Scouting?

My one best memories from Boy Scouts was probably our 7-day back packing trip through the Eastern Sierras with my dad and about 10 other Scouts and Assistant Scout Masters.  On day 3, we reached a High Sierras lake, jumped into the frigid waters and then caught trout for dinner until we all had our limits.  Trout never tasted better!  But the reason why it was the most memorable to me was that it gave me a lasting memory with my father that I think was foundational to me as a son as well as him as a father. Scouting creates unique and lasting memories that you cherish as you mature.

What else would you like to add about your experience in Scouting?

Scouting teaches youth a range of key developmental experiences that no other youth program provides at such a high level and consistency. 

What advice do you have for a Scout who aspires to achieve the Eagle Scout rank?

First of all, congratulations on being a part of Scouting.  You are already part of an esteemed group of individuals who have become leaders around the world and in their communities.  Second, do not give up and stick with it! I would encourage you to commit towards obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout even on those days when you feel like giving up.  Third, take advantage of every opportunity Scouting offers and appreciate the life-time friendships you will make in Scouting. Finally, have fun! Learning to lead and having fun go hand-in-hand.