Editor’s note: Military Times has profiled the winners of each service’s Operation Homefront Military Child of the Year award for 2018. All of the winners will be honored Thursday night in Washington, D.C., and will receive $10,000 and other prizes; for more about the award and for links to other honorees, click here.
Pay attention to Eve Glenn’s numbers: She is about to graduate from high school as a 16-year-old, having skipped a grade. She’s been ranked No. 1 academically in her class for the last three years.
And this is her fourth high school.
She now attends T.R. Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida; her father, Lt. Col. Richard Glenn, is stationed at MacDill Air Force Base.
She received the National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar award based on her international-qualifying top 2.5 percent PSAT score, becoming the first Department of Defense Education Activity student to do so.
As focused and motivated as Eve has been in her studies, she still finds time to volunteer, and is passionate about giving back to her community. She’s put in more than 1,900 hours of volunteer service since the summer before ninth grade, helping out at the USO, with a number of military family assistance efforts, with local community food and clothing drives, and with tutoring students in science, technology, engineering and math. She began her volunteer career when she was 4, accepting her brother’s invitation to pick up trash each week at the base elementary school.
Eve skirts the question of which of her accomplishments is most important to her. “I believe no project is greater than another, but with enough effort you can always turn something good into something great,” she said.
“It’s been a big effort of mine, no matter the locality changes or the social obstacles. It’s been essential to serve my community before shifting back to the more personal challenges of being a military child.”
She’s competed in Irish dancing on an international level since second grade, and she’s also lettered in flag football, soccer, basketball cheer and football cheer.
Eve said she wants to be a surgeon and has been accepted to three top-tier schools so far. She’s awaiting decisions from Ivy League colleges.
Her mom, Lori, says Eve’s most notable character trait is being “spirited.” Lori says Eve’s most important accomplishment is not necessarily something she’s done.
“She’s just actually a really good person,” she said.
Eve said she thinks of herself as being spirited, resilient, motivated and outgoing. “I want to be a leader and want to be a source of inspiration to others,” she said.
She advises other military children to really get involved in each community they move to, and “delve into activities they find interesting, but don’t be afraid to fail.”
“Admitting when support and assistance is needed, and staying strong to their convictions is important, especially with all these locality changes,” she said.
She advises military parents to encourage their children to not only maintain contact with past friends and mentors, but to forge new friendships. Encourage children to get involved in new activities, she said, “but also recognize that challenges can and will come.”
For military parents and children alike, she said, “be bold. Don’t be afraid to prove those wrong who discount you because you are a military child or spouse.”
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.