In selecting seven military teens to receive the Operation Homefront’s 2020 Military Child of the Year (MCOY) Award, we see some of the brightest minds, biggest hearts, and strongest characters among the young people in our country.
Now in its 12th year, MCOY recognizes outstanding young people ages 13 to 18 who demonstrate resiliency, leadership, and achievement during their parents’ military service. One winner is chosen to represent each branch of the armed forces – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard – and a seventh is recognized with the Innovation award. The Innovation award, sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, honors a military child who has designed a bold and creative solution to address a local, regional, or global challenge.
For winners, the awards have lasting impact.
“This program has taught me so much that I can use in whatever endeavor I pursue in life,” said Brandon Mammano, the 2019 Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation. “I’ve also made new friends for life. Each of the MCOY recipient’s stories shows you a different aspect of military life. But we all have felt that sense of being alone sometimes, and that’s when we have to lean on each other.”
Campbell Miller, the 2019 MCOY winner representing the National Guard, said he keeps in touch with other recipients from last year.
“We still encourage one another, talk to each other about significant life events, and sometimes just laugh together,” he said.
Eve Glenn, 2018 MCOY for Air Force, said the award was a way to honor her father, who is now retired from the United States Air Force. “Now I continue to partner with Operation Homefront. … Recognition from Operation Homefront and the MCOY empowered me to advocate for military populations in college and beyond.”
Winning the 2018 MCOY Award for Navy enabled Isabelle Richards to expand her outreach to wounded warriors and veterans.
“Currently, I am proud to say I serve wounded warriors, healing heroes, and veterans in 45 states,” she said. “This past year I made or had delivered 11,000 cupcakes and cards to those service members and veterans. That is almost 11,000 service members who know they are still cared about and honored.”
Operation Homefront’s mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. We understand the challenges of our military families, and we are honored to recognize the MCOY teens for their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, and extracurricular involvement in the face of those challenges.
We are very proud to recognize our seven 2020 Military Child of the Year Award Honorees:
• Samantha Grab – MCOY Award Recipient for the Air Force:
• Fionnuala Mahoney – MCOY Award Recipient for the Army
• Pierce Corson – MCOY Award Recipient for the Coast Guard
• Niklas Cooper – MCOY Award Recipient for the Marine Corps
• Kristina Lee – MCOY Award Recipient for the National Guard
• Miryam Smith – MCOY Award Recipient for the Navy
• Kainath Kamil – MCOY Award Recipient for Innovation (Navy)
Each winner will receive a trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent or guardian along with $10,000, a laptop computer, and other donated prizes.
Our 2020 honorees will be introduced April 2 at a gala in Washington, D.C.