JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – An Onslow County student at Lejeune High School has won the 2017 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year Award.
Jackson Beatty, 18, is a senior at Lejeune High and is one of seven Military Child of the Year Award winners. There is an award winner for every branch of service as well as an award for innovation.
Beatty achieved his black belt in Kenpo karate at 16, has qualified for the high school state wrestling championship three times, was captain of the marching band drum line at his school and has a near-perfect GPA.
He has achieved his accomplishments despite skeletal dysplasia, a condition which hampers the growth and development of bones and joints.
He also gives back to the community by volunteering as a mentor with the Outdoor Odyssey Leadership Academy, raising money for the Lejeune High Shool band and teaching karate to children.
Three students in Onslow County were selected as finalists for the 2017 Military Child of the Year Award — all of them for the Marine Corps award.
Operation Homefront, a national non-profit that serves military families, selects the award winners based on scholarship, volunteerism, leadership and extracurricular involvement.
The other two finalists from Onslow County were:
• Brooke Gruber, 17, Jacksonville, N.C., Marine Corps
• Jennifer Narvaez, 16, Hubert, N.C., Marine Corps
Award recipients were 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 winners will be flown to Washington along with a parent or guardian to receive the award from high-ranking military leaders.
For more information on Beatty and the other Military Child of the Year Award winners, head to Operation Homefront’s website.