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Military Child of the Year® Finalists

Operation Homefront is excited to announce the 2021 Military Child of the Year® Awards finalists. 32 Military Branch Award and 5 Innovation Award finalists have been chosen.

Military Child of the Year® Awards finalists

U.S. Air Force Finalists

Katherine Ballard, 17, Navarre, FL

Ashtyn Belanger, 18, Burkburnett, TX

Taylor Curro, 18, Carrollton, VA

Nyah Gray, 16, Buda, TX

Aislin Stanford, 16, Papillion, NE

U.S Army Finalists

Margaret Fontaine, 17, Fortson, GA

Kaleea Korunka, 17, Chesapeake, VA

Madison Owen-Amundsen, 18, Park City, UT

Avery Petty, 18, Montgomery, TX

Caleb Pipes, 17, Kailua, HI

U.S. Coast Guard Finalists

Luke Carter, 16, Melbourne, FL

Liam Cooper, 18, Port Jefferson, NY

Pualena Heather, 17, Woodbridge, VA

Layne O’Connell, 17, Jamestown, RI

Jenna Scalia, 17, Stevensville , MD

U.S. Marine Corps Finalists

Alison Carrillo-Matias, 17, Twentynine Palms CA

Sierra  Charleston, 17, Oceanside, CA

Eleanor David, 17, Falls Church, VA

Cameron Davis, 17, Jacksonville, NC

Tatihana Loya, 17, Swansboro, NC

U.S. Navy Finalists

Dasia Bandy, 18, Chesapeake, VA

Lauren  Garrett,17, Pace, FL

Anna Martinez, 17, McAllen, TX

Ryan Pettit, 17, Papillion. NE

Keira Vida White, 17, Rota, Spain

National Guard Finalists

Mabelle Boehlke, 17, Reedsburg, WI

Christian Gonzalez, 17, Fresno, CA

Jackson Harris, 18, Warrior, AL

Ethan Mulligan, 16, Haven, KS

Elise Puliafico, 17, West Bridgewater, MA

U.S. Space Force Finalists *

Lynaia Montoya, 13, Colorado Springs, CO

Joshua Wouden, 13, Colorado Springs, CO

*This is the inaugural 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.

Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation Finalists

Shay Barber, 18, Syracuse, UT; U.S Air Force

Emma Dozier, 13, Apex, NC; U.S. Army

Emma Remley, 17, Papillion, NE; U.S Air Force

Rodina Sabeha, 17, Queens, NY; National Guard

Griffin Thompson, 17, Boiling Springs, SC; U.S. Navy

The thirty-seven finalists were selected by a panel of judges chosen by Operation Homefront’s senior leadership and Booz Allen Hamilton, a global technology and management consulting firm. The final eight award recipients will be announced in March.

Seven Military Child of the Year® Award recipients will represent each branch of the armed forces — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Space Force — for their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria while facing the challenges of military family life.   

The eighth award is the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation presented by Booz Allen Hamilton. This award goes to a military child who has designed a bold and creative solution to address a local, regional, or global challenge. The Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation recipient will work directly with a team at the BAH firm, developing a plan to help scale the recipient’s project — drawing on technology and strategic thinking. 

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