Northridge High student honored as Air Force Military Child of the Year

Thursday , April 20, 2017 - 5:15 AM

ANNA BURLESON, Standard-Examiner Staff

A Northridge High School senior has been named Air Force Military Child of the Year.

Jamal Braxton said he found out about the award in February but was recognized for the honor at a Tuesday, April 18, Davis School District Board of Education meeting.

Northridge Principal Brian Hunt praised the student for his academic success and volunteer work.

“Jamal volunteers a lot,” he said. “I don’t know how he’s been so successful academically with all the work he does.”

In an interview after being recognized by the board, Braxton said he was speechless.

“It’s just an amazing feeling,” he said. “It’s very humbling.”

Operation Homefront, a support and assistance group for military families, selects six Military Child of the Year winners annually, one for each branch of the service. The winners are chosen for being an exceptional citizen in the face of the challenges associated with military life. A seventh winner receives an Award for Innovation.

Braxton is the son of Master Sgt. Lawrence Braxton, who served in the military for 23 years.

“He’s a very focused young man, a lot more focused than I was at the age,” Braxton’s father said. “That’s a good thing.”

Braxton himself told his principal he was born in Germany, moved to Florida, then Japan, then back to Germany and finally to Layton.

“We couldn’t be more happy he ended up at Northridge High School,” Hunt said.

Braxton said he was nominated for the award. He volunteers with the Red Cross and New Eyes for the Needy, a group that provides glasses to those who can’t afford them. He has also participated in swimming, cross country and track and field and taken numerous AP classes including history, English, statistics, calculus and biology — just to name a few.

Everyone has the drive to help others, Braxton said.

“Honestly, volunteers can have any skill set,” he said. “Someone who does art can volunteer to help create posters, someone who loves sports can help someone move or help with yard work for someone who can’t do it themselves.”

Braxton has also worked as a life guard.

“He’s serving people even in his employment,” Hunt said.

Braxton will be attending the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado this fall and Hunt said he wants to be a neurosurgeon.

Braxton’s mother Ahllam said it has been a roller coaster. She’s happy and proud of her son but sad to see him leave for college.

“We’re proud of him, he’ll do great,” she said. “We told him ‘follow your heart and the rest will come.’”

Contact education reporter Anna Burleson at aburleson@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnagatorB or like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/BurlesonReports.

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