Teen is semifinalist for Military Child of the Year

SAN MARCOS — Sierra LeFlore is being recognized for being one smart cookie, volunteering, and demonstrating leadership skills. She has been named as a semifinalist for Marine Corps Military Child of the Year 2017.

Six Military Child of the Year awards are given annually to kids who show excellence and face the demands of being a military child, which entail numerous moves and a parent’s deployment. Out of 400 nominees, 90 semifinalists are selected nationwide.

Sierra is a senior at Mission Hills High School and holds a 5.0 GPA for advanced placement studies.

She has served as a National Honor Society Project Leader throughout her high school years. But not all those years have been in the U.S. Sierra moved from Germany to California just before her senior year.

Her mom, Kathy LeFlore, is proud of Sierra’s accomplishments and nominated her daughter for the recognition.

“Sierra has always been a leader,” Kathy LeFlore said. “She was also the student who stepped up first when volunteers were requested in the classroom.”

Sierra has been a member of numerous school clubs including the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Rho Kappa, Students 2 Students Ambassador, I Am AP Club and the Biology Club.

This year her service projects through those clubs included peer tutoring, assisting in the special education center, helping to organize and hold teacher breakfasts and providing free childcare on teacher work days.

Additionally, Sierra uses her free period at school to serve as a teacher assistant.

She also helps off-campus as a youth soccer team coach and has pitched in during a beach cleanup.

During her high school years Sierra has taken on a range of service opportunities from leading kids to healing animals.

This past summer Sierra participated in Service and Leadership Training at Camp Crestridge for Girls. She helped with daily operational tasks and led campers in activities.

Last year she served as a hands-on intern at Stuttgart Veterinarian Treatment Facility. There she learned how to handle animals, read X-rays, give shots, sterilize surgical tools and help the office run efficiently.

Sports are also a big part of her life.

Sierra was the cross country varsity captain throughout high school. She received the Department of Defense Education Athletic-Academic Excellence Award varsity letter in cross country.

She equally excelled at soccer.

She served as the soccer junior varsity captain in grades nine, 10 and 11. Additionally she received a varsity letter in soccer, and played on the winning 2016 All-European Team.

Her list of accomplishments is long and places her among the best.

“All Military Child of the Year nominees are amazing,” Stephen Thomas, Operation Homefront regional communications manager, said. “They perform spectacularly in the classroom, embody strength of character and contribute tirelessly to the betterment of their communities while they endure the challenges inherent in military life. Sierra LeFlore is one of those standout students who reached the semifinals.”

Other semifinalists from California include Isabelle Richards, 12, of Jamul, and Reagan Warrick, 12, of El Cajon. Both are Navy military children.

Finalists will be announced in mid-February.

Winners representing the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard and National Guard will be selected in early March. They will each receive $10,000.

For more information, go to operationhomefront.net.

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