Semifinalists Announced for 2016 Military Child of the Year® Award

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Operation Homefront Announces Inaugural Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Award for Military Children to be Presented at April Gala

Operation Homefront today announced the 90 semifinalists — representing all five service branches and the National Guard — for the 2016 Military Child of the Year® Award. 2016 marks the eighth year Operation Homefront has presented the award, which will be given to one outstanding military child from each category: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard.

Each semifinalist will be interviewed by a team selected by Operation Homefront staff. Award recipients will be chosen by a panel of judges, to include senior retired service members, senior spouses, members of Operation Homefront’s board of directors, and other leaders in the military support community.

The recipient of the Military Child of the Year® Award for each category will be announced in March. Each award recipient will receive $10,000 and will be flown with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for a special recognition gala on April 14. United Technologies Corp. is the presenting sponsor for the Military Child of the Year® Awards Gala. Other sponsors are Southern New Hampshire University, Murphy Goode Winery, MidAtlanticBroadband, and Aflac. Operation Homefront will present the inaugural Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Award for Military Children at the gala.

Ideal candidates for the Military Child of the Year® Award demonstrate resilience and strength of character, and thrive in the face of the challenges of military life. They also demonstrate leadership within their families and within their communities.

“The children in our military families are absolutely amazing and these Military Child of the Year® semifinalists are extraordinary representatives of this very special segment of our society,” Operation Homefront President John I. Pray Jr. said. “They perform at a very high level both in and out of school while simultaneously dealing with parental deployments, recurring relocations, and other challenges associated with military life. Members of the selection committee clearly have their work cut out for them as they evaluate these exemplary young people. I congratulate each of the semifinalists for reaching this key phase in the selection process.”

The following are the semifinalists for the 2016 Military Child of the Year® Award:

ARMY

Mary T., 17, Wahiawa, Hawaii
Elissa N., 16, Sparta, Wis.
Hunter H., 14, Lansing, Kan.
Emalee H., 17, Elizabethtown, Ky.
Asia H., 12, West Point, N.Y.
Lorelei M., 10, Duncannon, Pa.
Jaccob H., 15, Saucier, Miss.
Gabrielle L., 17, Shavano Park, Texas
Hannah J., 17, Valrico, Fla.
Olivia D., 18, Hattiesburg, Miss.
Amari M., 15, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Elizabeth O., 17, Aberdeen, N.C.
Jennifer L., 17, Enterprise, Ala.
Paris S., 8, Cameron, N.C.
Antoinette K., 10, Vine Grove, Ky.

MARINE CORPS

Carson B., 17, Virginia Beach, Va.
Summer L., 17, Kailua, Hawaii
Christian F., 9, Quantico, Va.
Peter B., 18, Havelock, N.C.
Grace F., 17, Swansboro, N.C.
Haylee M., 12, San Diego, Calif.
Matthew C., 17, Jacksonville, N.C.
Caitlyn T., 14, Quantico, Va.
Steven P., 17, Lithia, Fla.
Cherita W., 17, Virginia Beach, Va.
GaBryella D., 13, Temecula, Calif.
Jewell D., 15, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Madison A., 13, Fredericksburg, Va.
Jenna A., 12, Houston, Texas
Jackson B., 16, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

NAVY

Elizabeth E., 15, Mc Donald, Pa.
Mariah W., 17, New Bern, N.C.
Isabelle R., 11, Jamul, Calif.
Evan P. 17, Phoenix, Ariz.
Benedict C., 17, Coronado, Calif.
Victoria B., 17, Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Jeffrey B., 17, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Michael J., 17, Stafford, Va.
Benjamin P., 17, Lakeland, Tenn.
Samantha R., 18, Fleming Island, Fla.
Alexsandra C., 17, Springfield, Va.
Adriel M., 17, O Fallon, Ill.
Gavin M., 18, Virginia Beach, Va.
Ty B., 14, FPO, AE, Rota, Spain
Sydney C., 8, Jacksonville, Fla.

AIR FORCE

Madeline G., 18, Springfield, Va.
Grace R., 11, APO, AE, Ramstein, Germany
Bethany S., 18, Beale AFB, Calif.
David Z. , 17, San Antonio, Texas
Lacey L., 17, Milton, Fla.
Bridget R., 17, Burke, Va.
Caroline S., 10, Las Vegas, Nev.
Jordyn M., 9
Makayla J., 9, Ruther Glen, Va.
Jamal B., 17, Hill AFB, Utah
Hailie W., 16, Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Madeleine M., 17, Moorestown, N.J.
Tristan T., 15, Sahuarita, Ariz.
Alyssa O., 16, Panama City, Fla.
Matthew N., 17, Spokane, Wash.

COAST GUARD

John M., 17, Annapolis, Md.
Spenser R., 18, Davie, Fla.
Chase M., 17, McLean, Va.
Kievon B., 15, Lodi, N.J.
Jessica P., 17, West Seneca, N.Y.
Gabriel N., 13, Bennington, Vt.
Jackson H., 15, Jacksonville, Fla.
Keegan F., 17, Fairhaven, Mass.
Jessie P., 16, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Liam C., 13, New Orleans, La.
Olivia K., 18, Grangeville, Idaho
Kylie M., 14, Trenton, N.J.
Ashley F., 17, Warrenton, Ore.
Qur'Annah J., 17, Frankfort, Ill.
Giavanna V., 10, Mystic, Conn.

NATIONAL GUARD

Joshua T., 15, Rolla, Mo.
Michelle G., 18, Green Cove Springs, Fla.,
Tymber L., 18, Lincoln, Neb.
John L., 17, Ellensburg, Wash.
Madeline N., 18, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Nathan M., 17, Orange Park, Fla.
Mya K., 18, Yorba Linda, Calif.
Lily M., 14, Portland, Ore.
Sarah B., 17, Glen Carbon, Ill.
Molly F., 15, Pickerington, Ohio
Madison O., 9, Pembroke, N.H.
Sydney L., 17, Lincoln, Neb.
Jodi J., 17, Pleasant Grove, Utah
Amelia B., 15, Saint Augustine, Fla.
Jordan G., 8, Virginia Beach, Va.

The Booz Allen Innovation Award for Military Children will go to a military child who has designed a bold, creative solution to address a local, regional or global challenge. With a new invention, improvement to existing technology, creation of a new nonprofit or community service group or expansion of an existing membership organization, the winner will show the power of innovative thinking. Booz Allen will award a grant to the winner and host the winner at the Booz Allen Innovation Center in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Booz Allen employees will assist the winner in helping to scale or advance the project.

Laurie Gallo, an Executive Vice President at Booz Allen and member of Operation Homefront’s board of directors said, “We’re excited to honor the ingenuity and creativity of these rising leaders. This is a celebration of the resiliency of military youth -- their ability to adapt to realities of military family life, find opportunities to thrive and apply their unique experiences to solving some of our most pressing societal challenges.”

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About Operation Homefront: Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 92 percent of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to http://www.OperationHomefront.net.

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