Photo of the Week - Marine Corps Child of the Year: Erika Booth

After Six schools, five moves, eight houses, and ten Marine deployments, sixteen-year-old Erika Booth has always managed to stay positive, strong and resilient. This 2012, Operation Homefront Marine Corps Child of the Year was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disorder, but does not let the disease stop her from energetically going on with her life. Her love of supporting and helping others is what keeps Erika going.

Ranked first in her class, junior class president, vice president for her local Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) chapter and a mentor with the Drug Education for Youth Program, Erika is an extraordinary example of a young leader. She not only is a great leader in the community, but a best friend and a trusted, primary caregiver for her thirteen-year-old autistic brother. Operation Homefront and the Marine Corps recognized Erika for her leadership, sacrifice, and volunteerism. She enjoys being on committees, volunteering, and making a difference in her community.

On 5 April 2012 in Washington D.C., Erika was recognized for all of her hard work. She was selected from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees, and was chosen by a committee, which included active duty military personnel, Family Readiness Support Assistants, teachers, military mothers, and community members. Erika Booth is a special kid, she is a young leader who stands out among her peers in the community. She loves being a military child and is extremely proud of her father who is in the Marine Corps and serves our country every day. Daily, she demonstrates resilience and strength of character, and thrives in the face of the challenges of military life. When adversity hits, Erika is an inspiration to others to face their problems and succeed in life.

Congratulations Erika on your achievement!

For more information, check out Erika’s interview with CNN here.

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