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Press Release

Military Child of the Year® 2019 Semifinalists

By Operation Homefront

January 16, 2019

For media inquiries, please contact Mike Lahrman at or call (210) 202-1243.

Operation Homefront, serving America’s military families® since 2002, today announced the 96 semifinalists for the 2019 Military Child of the Year® (MCOY) Award.  2019 marks the 11th anniversary of this special event as the nation’s premier celebration of the achievements of our military children.

The Military Child of the Year® Award reflects the positive impact that these special young people have made on their military families, their schools, and their communities.

Eve Glenn, the 2018 Air Force Child of the Year, said that the prestigious award has truly impacted her life; “Selection as a MCOY recipient has been life changing. Representing the Air Force, I pass on this honor by educating others on the military community and lifestyle, especially the hardships wounded veterans endure. Likewise, by allowing me the opportunity to focus on school rather than finances, MCOY was and is instrumental in my success.”  Glenn is currently a freshman on the varsity cheerleading team at Brown University.

The Military Child of the Year® Award is a lifelong source of pride for the recipients and the program provides them with amazing opportunities to meet senior military leaders, elected officials, celebrities, and other remarkable military children.

“Being a MCOY recipient has allowed me to share my story… and has, in turn, strengthened my inner character, my devotion to making a difference, and deepened my compassion for others,” said Mary Cooper, the 2017 Coast Guard Military Child of the Year® Award recipient. Cooper is currently a freshman at Stanford University focusing on computer science, aeronautics, and astronautical engineering.

Thirty-five finalists will be selected in February 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 seven award recipients will be announced in March.  They will travel to Washington, D.C. to be recognized at a gala on April 18, during which senior leaders of each branch of service will present the awards.  They also will each receive $10,000, a laptop computer, and other donated gifts.

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

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

The following are all the 2019 Military Child of the Year® Award semifinalists by service branch.  Semifinalists for the 2019 Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation are also designated:


Gregory Davis, 17, Tampa, Fla.

Abigail Faust, 16, Cadiz, Ky.

Isaac Gonzalez, 18, Universal City, Texas

Jason Herlick, 17, Adams, Tenn.

Hunter Hotaling, 17, Lansing, Kan.

Peter Leffler, 14, Fairfax, Va.

Elisabeth Polleys, 16, Macomb, Mich.

Elisa Rich, 16, Clemmons, N.C.

Catherine Roller, 18, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Sarah Schaefer, 17, Stafford, Va.

Obadiah Scroggins, 13, Elizabethtown, Ky.

Noah Sylvia, 18, Fort Hood, Texas

Anna Torres, 15, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Marisol Wentling, 14, Fort Benning, Ga.

Katherine Wilton, 17, Dupont, Wash.

Marine Corps

William Butler, 17, Virginia Beach, Va.

Jaidah Davis, 17, Okinawa, Japan

Sofia Gibson, 16, Chesapeake, Va.

Logan Harrell, 17, Stafford, Va.

Jaxson Jordan, 13, Tarawa Terrace, N.C.

Elvine Katanga, 16, Jacksonville, N.C.

Elizabeth Kellum, 17, Jacksonville, N.C.

Ethan Ley, 13, Highland Park, Ill.

Julia Livingston, 17, Okinawa, Japan

* Livingston is also one of 10 semifinalists for the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation

Karina Maciel, 15, Kailua, Hawaii

William Moseley, 18, Okinawa, Japan

Connor Salcido, 17, Gaithersburg, Md.

Haes Shake, 17, Hubert, N.C.

Briana Torres, 18, San Marcos, Calif.

Jacob Woodall, 14, Crestview, Fla.


Avery Alfonzo, 14, San Diego, Calif.

Zaira Alvarez, 17, Pensacola, Fla.

Danielle Bilotta, 16, Albuquerque, N.M.

Mahlon Catalina, 17, Hanford, Calif.

James Cosman, 14, Joint-Base Andrews, Md.

Ronald Eytchison, 17, Huron, Ohio

Declan Fletcher, 17, Virginia Beach, Va.

Sawyer Getschman, 16, Germany

Payton Godlewski, 17, Germany

Jack Lund, 18, Gulf Breeze, Fla.

Elisabeth Lundgren, 18, Chula Vista, Calif.

Celine Maharaj, 17, Norfolk, Va.

Mary McLellan, 17, England

Nickolas Moncilovich, 16, Drexel Hill, Pa.

Isabella White, 14, Jacksonville, Fla.

Air Force

Shaylee Barber, 16, Ewa Beach, Hawaii

Madeline Bland, 17, Alton, Ill.

Audrey Camper, 14, Talofofo, Guam

Jakob Fick, 15, Fayetteville, N.C.

Jaidyn Fountain, 13, Wichita Falls, Texas

Diana Fudge, 13, Kathleen, Ga.

Salysia Jimenez, 15, New Bern, N.C.

Joshua Kelly, 14, Italy

Brandon Mammano, 18, Mililani, Hawaii

* Mammano is also one of 10 semifinalists for the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation

Isabella Mollison, 18, Japan

Benjamin Rawald, 16, Del Rio, Texas

Skyler Roper, 14, Helotes, Texas

Michaela-Katherine Taylor, 17, Germany

* Taylor is also one of 10 semifinalists for the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation

Jonathan Thomas, 17, Germany

Brian Thompson, 16, Bel Air, Md.

Coast Guard

Kailey Aponte, 14, Aguadilla, P.R.

Giovanni Beltran, 14, Slidell, La.

Shannon Campbell, 17, Saint Johns, Fla.

Emma Fike, 17, Fairhaven,  Mass.

Joshua Fisher, 13, Bluffton, S.C.

Mackenzie Godfrey, 14, Corpus Christi, Texas

Mattie Gross, 17, Kodiak, Alaska

Emily Light, 17, Port Angeles, Wash.

Hennessy Martinez, 16, San Diego, Calif.

Kylie McGuire, 17, Hamilton, N.J.

Hazel Romero, 14, Madisonville, La.

Tyler Schultz, 16, Forestdale, Mass.

Tyler Shiflett, 17, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Erin Tabor, 13, Summerville, S.C.

Sarah Williams, 16, Macclenny, Fla.

National Guard

Brennan Palani Buccat, 18, Waipahu, Hawaii

Katja Grisham, 17, Auburn, Ala.

Caleb Johnson, 17, Bakersfield, Calif.

Cameron Lantagne, 16, Vancouver, Wash.

Jack Leipertz, 17, Powhatan, Va.

Maycie Madsen, 18, Richfield, Utah

Lauren McKenna, 17, Meridian, Idaho

* McKenna is also one of 10 semifinalists for the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation

Campbell Miller, 17, Ontario, Ohio

Clayton Miller, 15, Petersburg, Ill.

Kaley Mulligan, 13, Haven, Kan.

Matthew Ospina, 17, Marysville, Wash.

Koralys Rodriguez, 18, Statesville, N.C.

Dakota Scott, 15, Fort Greely, Alaska

Carlos Vega, 17, Leavenworth, Kan.

Rachel Warner, 17, Roosevelt, N. J.

Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation

Jordan Daugherty, 17, Staten Island, N.Y., Army

Megan Green, 16, Whispering Pines, N.C., Air Force

Julia Livingston, 17, Okinawa, Marine Corps

Brandon Mammano, 18, Mililani, Hawaii, Air Force

Troy Mills Marin, 17, Brownsville, Texas, Coast Guard

Lauren McKenna, 17, Meridian, Idaho, Army

Yohanna Torres Sanchez, 17, Orlando, Fla. Army

Michaela-Katherine Taylor, 17, Germany, Air Force

Jessica Vanstory, 17, Maple Hill, Kan., National Guard

Sophie Williams, 17, Japan, Navy

More information about the Military Child of the Year® Awards is available at


About Operation Homefront: Founded in 2002, 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, 92 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

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