Crofton teen is always ready to lend a hand

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jan 29, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

She is a beauty. A black 1986 Chevy K-10 with 9-inch lift and 38-inch tires. What’s not to love? Miss Chevy is a little old for Steve, but she was rebuilt in 2001 and looks like new with her classy chassis. The truck is not demanding, but Steve is always finding ways to modify, fix ‘er up and show her off a little.

“I like being a redneck,” he grinned. “I’m a redneck because of what I drive – a truck – and what I do on weekends. I fish, go camping and go to tractor pulls. I like Speed TV, PowerBlock TV and car-and truck-related shows.”

Steve’s also an unsung hero. Or, at least he and Tim, his 25-year-old big brother, were.

On Dec. 22, 2009, Judy Hoover, the manager of the Crofton community, Sharwood Place, where the Behan family resides, wrote a note to County Executive John R. Leopold. Hoover nominated the two youth for Leopold’s “Snow Angel” Award for their efforts during the 2009-2010 Snowmageddon season.

During the snow storms, she said, Steve shoveled people out and moved snow so other people could drive down the street.

“He did this many times during the storms. He helped his neighbors move mounds of snow out of the road from in front of their cars,” she said, adding that the teen “made sure the fire hydrants in the community were not covered with snow.”

He not only shoveled snow away from the hydrants, the day before the big January storm, he made orange flags and attached them to two hydrants, making it easier for firefighters to find the hydrants in an emergency.

Hoover said one unit was having ice damming problems. Steven helped contractors who were called to repair the problem.

He also cut up a fallen tree blocking the road. “I cut it with a chain saw and Tim and I moved the pieces out of the way,” Steve explained.

The tree was kind of hard to ignore – it keeled over, narrowly missing his beloved truck. The hard part, according to Steve, was deciding which of his eight chain saws to use on the tree.

In her note to Leopold, Hoover said, one evening during a snowstorm, Steve and Tim were driving on Route 50. They spotted a Jeep that had flipped over on its roof. As the Behan brothers pulled up, bystanders were yelling the car was about to explode. The Jeep was smoking and leaking gasoline.

The driver was still in the car, covered in blood from his wounds. Tim yanked open the passenger door, grabbed the driver and pulled him out. The Behans laid him in the truck and tried to stop his bleeding until the paramedics arrived.

Leopold issued a “Snow Angel” citation to the two the very next day. It read: “In recognition of your community spirit and special caring for your neighbors during the blizzards of 2010, we honor you for your thoughtful assistance on behalf of your neighbors in this time of need.”

“My parents taught me to help others. Take care of other people,” Steve said.

His father, John Behan, is a dispatcher at the Capital Heights Post Office, and his mother, Julie Behan, is retired from the U.S. Postal Service.

Besides Tim, his other “siblings” include four dogs, two giant fish-filled tanks that are a combined 80 gallons, and a pair of pet rats.

In December 2010, Steve was South River High’s Student of the Month and is a regular on the honor roll.

He has taken 19 vocational technology courses at the Center of Applied Technology – South, a few blocks away from South River High. Through the National Center for Construction Education and Research’s Contren Learning Series program, he’s accredited for electrical level 1.

Morris F. Schultz, his instructor, openly wishes the world had more people like Steve in it. “Steve was a pleasure to have in class. He was very quiet and laid back. Often he would stop working on his class work to give aid to others that were struggling. It was in his nature to help others. If asked to do a task, he always smiled and said okay.”

Calling him a “really responsible student,” his guidance counselor Nancy Baker said the teen “is a wonderful young man who is one of the hardest working students I have known. He participates in his classes, does his homework and is respectful. He loves his job as an electrical apprentice at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard at Curtis Bay, and has already received a raise. Steven puts his heart and soul into his job.”

Steve’s brother, Tim, 25, is a civilian Coast Guard machinist, employed at the Coast Guard Yard at Curtis Bay in Baltimore. Steve is currently working part-time there and hopes to work full-time once he graduates.

The base has a dry dock facility. Most Coast Guard patrol boats are rebuilt every 10 years. The crew at Curtis Bay usually has only six to eight months to get a patrol boat shipshape regardless of whether it is a small 87-foot vessel or a larger 270-footer.

“We tear boats down, repair them and ship them back when we’re done,” Steve said simply. He enjoys completely rebuilding ship engines.

Down the road, he’d like to build his own home. “I dream of a house filled with stainless steel diamond plate furniture,” he sighed.

Diamond plate are heavy-duty industrial steel sheets used as slip-resistant flooring in cargo elevators or machine shops. Any furniture made of the plates would require welding torch to construct.

Steve pointed out: “It would be so easy to clean.”

Anyone may nominate a Teen of the Week. Email your nomination to Wendi Winters at

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