SAN ANTONIO - Lejeune High School has a student who has won a prestigious award for the third straight year.
Jackson Beatty was named the 2017 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year. Jeffrey Burds, then a senior at Lejeune High School, won the Navy award as a 2016 Military Child of the Year last March. Christopher-Raul Rodriguez won the Marine Corps award in 2015.
Beatty was of three finalists from our area competing for the honor from one of the branches of our military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard and Navy. An Award for Innovation was also handed out. Brooke Gruber, 17, of Jacksonville, who attends Northside High School and Jennifer Narvaez, 16, of Hubert, who attends Swansboro High School were also finalists for the Marine Corps award.
According to a press release, six Military Child of the Year Award winners ages 8 to 18, representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard, will receive $10,000 each. They will be selected based on their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership and extracurricular involvement. A seventh award, open to teenagers age 13-18 will be chosen as the Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation presented by Booz Allen Hamilton. They will earn $10,000 and a mentorship by Booz Allen Hamilton employees to scale or to advance the winner's project.
Below is Beatty's bio. You can read about the other winners by clicking here.
Jackson Beatty is an 18-year-old senior at Lejeune High School and recipient of the 2017 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year® Award. He began studying Kenpo karate at the age of 4 and achieved his black belt at 16. He has served as captain of the high school wrestling team. He competed at the 2017 North Carolina State Wrestling Championships and placed third in the 1A 106-pound weight class. He has qualified for the State Championship for the last three years and that was his best finish. He has been captain of the Marching Band drumline. He has a near-perfect GPA and has an outstanding track record of volunteerism, thusly giving back to the community, especially to children. Jackson has achieved these milestones through his skeletal dysplasia, a condition which hampers the growth and development of bones and joints. Working in conjunction with the Semper Fi Fund, which serves the children of wounded warriors, Jackson has been a mentor to other students participating in the Outdoor Odyssey Leadership Academy. Jackson is a Lejeune High School Band Booster, raising money for competition and band necessities. Jackson teaches karate to children in his spare time at Wright's Mixed Martial Arts.