In an effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country, we celebrate the 64th anniversary of Armed Forces Day. As we salute all of the military branches, we not only recognize their service, but the hardships they are forced to face in our nation’s honor.

Military families typically place a high value on education, and as families transition from one station to another, children often attend many schools. In fact, the average child in a military family will move six to nine times during a school career. For many of these students in these families, online education provides consistency in their constantly changing world.

K12 student Austin Babcock is one of them. Not only did Austin receive the highest honor a Boys and Girls Club member can receive as the 2014 Military Youth of the Year Award, but already has a full scholarship to the University of Wyoming as a junior at Wyoming Virtual Academy.

Austin has attended four brick-and-mortar schools internationally. He admits that this was challenging, but looks at the bright side in knowing that he has gained experience with different cultures, and the confidence to easily make friends by living in different regions.

But when his family was relocated from Turkey to Wyoming, he found out about K12’s online education option, and jumped at the opportunity to avoid starting at another school in the middle of the year. He used the confidence he gained as a military child and went to the Youth Program’s Teen Center his first day on base, where he started volunteering as a Boys and Girls Club leader and advocate for younger children.  Throughout his tenure with WYVA’s online education, he has also stayed social by being active in K12’s Model UN Club, and is the president of the Keystone Club. He is also able to spend time playing the guitar, a six-year hobby he would like to develop into composing or teaching music.

Join us in cheering Austin on as he represents Wyoming at the regional competition in Dallas in June for a chance to advance to nationals in Washington D.C. in September and be named the National Youth of the Year.

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