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Press Release

2024 Military Child of the Year® Semifinalists

By Operation Homefront

January 17, 2024

Operation Homefront Announces 2024 Semifinalists for Esteemed Military Child of the Year® Award 

SAN ANTONIO- Following the nomination of more than 700 outstanding military children from across the country, national nonprofit Operation Homefront is pleased to announce the 105 semifinalists for the 2024 Military Child of the Year® Award program.  

Operation Homefront works to build strong, stable, and secure military families and, for 16 years, has celebrated the remarkable achievements, character, and contribution of military children with this distinguished award.  

This program is the nation’s premier tribute to the accomplishments of America’s military children, recognizing the positive influence they have on their families, schools, and communities, despite the unique challenges these young people often face as they serve our nation alongside their parents. The Military Child of the Year® Award serves as a lifelong source of pride for the recipients and offers them unparalleled opportunities to connect with senior military leaders, celebrities, and most importantly, peers who understand the obstacles of growing up within a military family.  

Finalists for the 2024 Military Child of the Year® Award will be selected in February by a panel of independent, volunteer judges.  The final seven award recipients – one representing each branch of the military – will be announced in March and each will receive $10,000, a laptop computer, and other donated gifts at a gala held in their honor in Washington D.C. in April.  

Visit our Military Child of the Year® Awards page to learn more information.

The following are all the 2024 Military Child of the Year® Award semifinalists by service branch. 

Air Force

Morgan Becker, 16, Kaysville, UT 

Lana Clayton, 17, Lithia, FL 

Loni Jorgensen, 17, Tucson, AZ 

Brianna Lowe, 14, APO, AP 

Brynn Makros, 16, Colorado Springs, CO 

Noelani Martinez, 16, San Antonio, TX 

Ava Nasr, 17, Lompoc, CA 

Abram Perez, 15, Hampton, VA 

Anna Roth, 17, APO, AE 

Victoria Simmons, 14, Fairfax Station, VA 

Joshua Stanford, 16, Panama City, FL 

Payton Stokes, 17, Anchorage, AK 

Annelies Stokman, 17, Cibolo, TX 

Kelsey Trumble, 17, Fairfield, CA 

Landen Waider, 17, Madison, AL 


Abigail Babski, 16, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 

Laura Ball, 17, Harker Heights, TX 

Kaylee Cabral, 14, Seal Beach, CA 

Allison Candelario, 17, Yorktown, VA 

Samantha Dales, 17, APO, AP 

Jusline Fanechigiy, 17, Killeen, TX 

Anna Galeano, 18, APO, AE 

Paige Harrell, 17, Carlisle, PA 

Micayla Herlihy, 17, Fort Liberty, NC 

Maribel Sikes, 15, APO, AP 

Sugey Soto, 18, Navarre, FL 

Benjamin Soyka, 17, Fort Leavenworth, KS 

Kendall Warman, 17, Colorado Springs, CO 

Rebecca White, 14, Hampton, VA 

Audrey Wolff, 15, Colorado Springs, CO 

Coast Guard

Madilyn Brim, 13, Fort Belvoir, VA 

Gage Bryan, 14, Jacksonville, FL 

Yaniel Capestany, 16, San Juan, PR 

Elizabeth Carter, 16, Melbourne, FL 

Andreya Cox, 18, Johnson City, TN 

Owen Hasenstab, 17, JBER, AK 

John Davis Heal, 16, Linwood, NJ 

Logan Joseph, 17, Marana, AZ 

Logan McGuire, 16, Hamilton, NJ 

Joseph Nendza, 17, League City, TX 

Elijah Nichols, 16, Arlington, TN 

Jade Pagan Abreu, 17, Suffolk, VA 

Charlotte, Tama, 18, Washington, D.C. 

Anna Van Ness, 17, Alexandria, VA 

Abigail Walther, 17, Sault Ste Marie, MI 

Marine Corps

Isabella Arrieta, 17, Murrieta, CA 

Izel Bernal, 17, Hubert, NC 

Andrew Driscoll, 17, Camp Lejeune, NC 

Bryor Francisco, 16, Yigo, GU 

Allison Frazier, 17, Swansboro, NC 

Jack Ingebretsen, 17, O Fallon, IL 

Gabriella Kacanowski, 17, Oceanside, CA 

Abigail Keith, 16, Burke, VA 

Caroline Lott, 17, Hubert, NC 

Mia Monday, 16, Kailua, HI 

Connor Nicol, 15, Hampton, NH 

Iain Nicol, 16, Hampton, NH 

Wyatt Nicol, 13, Hampton, NH 

Brynlee Nodurft, 17, Sneads Ferry, NC 

Alex Vega, 18, Beaufort, SC  

National Guard

Amaia Arteta, 15, Green Cove Springs, FL 

Trace Cassidy, 18, West Milton, PA 

Audrey Hartgraves, 18, League City, TX 

Caleb Hatch, 18, Boulder, CO 

Heidi Kristoffersen, 16, Laconia, NH 

Ephraim LaMountain, 18, Waxhaw, NC 

Beckett Landon, 18, Ellensburg, WA 

Caroline Mattingly, 17, Bardstown, KY 

Bre Morris, 17, Deatsville, AL 

Anna Kate Ratcliffe, 18, Gulfport, MS 

Ellie Ryder, 17, San Antonio, TX 

Claudia Shin, 17, Porter Ranch, CA 

Harley Smith, 16, Brandon, MS 

Solana Thomson, 17, El Paso, TX 

Kameron Weaver, 17, Gulfport, MS 

Space Force*

Shu Xian Mila Baker, 15, Lompoc, CA ,

Micah Bills, 16, Lugoff, SC 

Ainsley Gulden, 17, El Segundo, CA 

Ingrid Hale, 17, Papillion, NE 

Gabriel Hidalgo, 15, Vandenberg SFB, CA 

Alexander Hill, 18, Colorado Springs, CO 

Olivia Kim, 17, Cerritos, CA 

Charlotte Kruk, 18, Springfield, VA 

Erik Ojala, 15, Montgomery, AL 

Emily Rupp, 15, San Pedro, CA 

Asher Schultz, 17, Albuquerque, NM 

Athena Suliashvili, 14, Cocoa, FL 

Alyssa Verroco, 17, Lompoc, CA 

Taylor Walsh, 17, Arlington, VA 

Samantha Wierschke, 16, Burke, VA 

*This is the fourth year for inviting nominations from the newest military service, the U.S. Space Force. We anticipate more nominees from this branch as it becomes more established.


Coco Ahn, 17, West Springfield, VA 

Matthew Barbabella, 15, Camp Lejeune, NC 

Julia Barry, 13, Honolulu, HI 

Jessica Baugh, 18, Silverdale, WA 

Lindsay Carstairs, 17, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 

Michael Collins, 17, Virginia Beach, VA 

Rylan Gabbard, 16, Oxnard, CA 

Reed Karosich, 15, FPO, AE 

Felicity Roussakies, 15, Kingsland, GA 

Noah Snyder, 17, Woodbridge, VA 

Kinzee Sperry, 17, Bandera, TX 

Logan Stephens, 14, Chesapeake, VA 

Gabrielle Frances Villarin, 17, Coronado, CA 

Caleb White, 15, Jacksonville, FL 

Ayla Zook, 16, King George, VA  

About Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 88 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing, and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries:
Susan Ziesman or (210) 549-4625 

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