22 Jan More than a dozen NC children chosen as semi-finalists for Military Child of the Year
The Military Child of the Year Award program has chosen 95 semi-finalists nationwide. In fact, 13 of those semi-finalists live in North Carolina. Of those 13 semi-finalists, seven are residents of Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville and Holly Ridge.
This award program is a non-profit group that “recognizes the achievements of America’s military children and the positive impact they’ve made on their families, schools and communities.”
The selection process
Now that the semi-finalists have been chosen, a panel of judges will select 35 finalists in February. Operation Homefront’s leadership and Booz Allen Hamilton, a global technology and management consulting firm, have chosen this panel of judges. After the finalists have been chosen, the seven award recipients will be announced in March.
Six of those seven winners will represent each branch of the armed forces.
Those branches are:
- Air Force
- Coast Guard
- Marine Corps
- National Guard
The criteria for choosing the award winners include the following:
- Extracurricular activities
- Other factors involving the challenges of military family life
The seventh award is the Military Child of the Year Innovation Award. This award goes to a child who has devised a bold, creative solution that focuses on a local, regional or global challenge. The winner of this very special award will work directly with a team at Booz Allen Hamilton. The teamwork draws on strategic thinking and technology for the development of a plan for scaling the winner’s project.
The winners will travel to Washington D.C. to receive their awards at a gala planned for April 2. During that event, senior leaders from each branch of military service will present the awards. Each winner will receive a laptop, $10,000 and other donated gifts.
The following are semi-finalists from the Jacksonville area.
Niklas Cooper, 16, Camp Lejeune
Iain Nicol, 13, Camp Lejeune
Lee Balderaz Jr., 17, Camp Lejeune
Michayla Wittner, 16, Jacksonville
Dean Fecteau, 18, Camp Lejeune
Hunter Galvin, 17, Holly Ridge
Payton Jeffers, 17, Holly Ridge
Elisabeth Lundgren, who was named the 2019 Navy Military Child of the Year, said the following in an interview with ABC News Channel 12.
“Winning was an amazing way to show my dad that my success didn’t suffer just because he missed out on big parts of my life. My success in swimming and in the classroom happened, not in spite of my dad’s service, but because of my dad’s service.”
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