Military Child Award

An area high school student is one step away from being named national military child of the year. She was just named a semifinalist in the competition, held by operation Homefront.

Fox 25/48's Erin O’Brien has her story.

Seventeen-year-old Elissa Nott has moved nine times due to her father's career in the army.

“You have to constantly make new friends and no one's going to be there for you, you have to go introduce yourself and be the first one to make contact with people.”

Now she lives in Onalaska and is a junior at Aquinas high school. She was just named one of 90 semifinalists out of 400 nominees for operation Homefront’s military child of the year. She's the only semifinalist from Wisconsin.

“We really find outstanding is these military kids want to help their communities and that's what they go out and do.”

Elissa started a task force to educate teenage military children about sexual assault. She works at the fort McCoy youth center she also is eyeing a career in the military, hoping to attend the naval academy after high school.

“She's had a very strong focus on where she wants to go in her life at a very young age so, we're really proud of her.”

She says there are challenges being a military child.

“For the most part of my life I’ve lived on military installations, you definitely see firsthand the negative effects of war on soldiers. I’ve seen people coming home from war missing parts of their body and the effects it’s had on their family.”

But she hopes to use this recognition to keep making a difference.

“It's my goal to really inspire other youth to want to get out in their community, do well in school and volunteer in their local community, for me specifically, Fort McCoy and I’m really proud to be representing Wisconsin in this competition.”

 If Elissa is named military child of the year, she'll receive a ten-thousand-dollar scholarship and she'll get to travel to Washington DC to accept that recognition. She says she'll find out in February so we'll of course keep you updated.

In La Crosse, Erin O’Brien, Fox 25/ 48 news at nine.

Operation Homefront will select six winners, one for each branch of the military.

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