A student from Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach was recently named Operation Homefront‘s 2018 Coast Guard Military Child of the Year.
Roark Corson, 17, was chosen as the Coast Guard Military Child of the Year for his dedication to community service, academics and sports.
According to Operation Homefront, Corson has a passion for public speaking and is an advocate for mental health awareness. After losing two friends to suicide in three years, he began volunteering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the I Need a Lighthouse Foundation (INAL).
Corson has been a featured speaker for several events that raise awareness of youth depression and suicide. He was also awarded the 2018 Helen P. Shropshire Human Rights Youth Award by the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission for his mental health advocacy work.
Corson has accomplished several academic achievements as well. He won first place in the Environmental Science category in the regional science fair, he wrote a scientific article about an experiment he performed that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Emerging Investigators and won first place at the regional Tidewater Robotics and Maker Entrepreneur Challenge in 2017, just to name a few.
Operation Homefront says the Military Child of the Year Award is designed to “recognize the positive impact that these special young people have made on their military families, their schools and their communities.” Corson was chosen as one of the seven total recipients, one for each military branch.
The award recipients will attend and be recognized at the annual gala on April 19 in Washington, D.C. Leaders of each military branch will present the awards to each of the recipients. They also will each receive $10,000, a laptop computer and other gifts.