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Local Student Named U.S. Navy Military Child of the Year

Local Student Named U.S. Navy Military Child of the Year
Lindsay Carstairs

Lindsay Carstairs, a San Diego student, was recently named Operation Homefront’s 2024 Military Child of the Year for the Navy.

Carstairs attends Canyon Crest Academy in the San Dieguito Union High School District.

The diagnosis of Jeavons Syndrome when Carstairs was 8 years old presented significant challenges. The disease was difficult to control. Epilepsy was not just a physical hardship for Lindsay but also a mental and emotional challenge. She worried about what her classmates would think of her each time an ambulance came to the school because of her seizures.

Carstairs’ early adversities inspired her to co-found a local International Children’s Advisory Network (iCAN) chapter at Rady Children’s Hospital, where she was a patient.

“I am proud to have started (a chapter) for my community,” she said. “I dedicated many hours to establishing our chapter. I learned to stay organized and improved my public speaking skills while talking to peers about iCAN and at advocacy events.”

Throughout high school, Carstairs has led multiple advocacy discussions, raised thousands of dollars for local charities, provided community service for children with complex conditions like her own, and earned the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award after achieving over 300 hours.

Carstairs plans to attend her “dream” school, Tulane University, as an Honors Scholar in August. She expects to major in political science/international relations and marketing with a minor in Italian. She also wants to be involved in the Center for Public Service at Tulane, continuing her commitment to making a difference.

Carstairs, 18, is the daughter of Navy veterans Shaun and Keri Carstairs.

Now in its 16th year, the Military Child of the Year Award reflects the positive impact that students ages 13 to 18 have made on their military families, their schools, and their communities. Following the nomination of more than 700 outstanding military children from across the country, national nonprofit Operation Homefront selected seven recipients for the award, representing each of the branches of the U.S. armed forces.

All Military Child of the Year Award recipients will be flown with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., and recognized at a gala, during which senior leaders of each branch of service will present the awards. They also will receive $10,000 each, a laptop computer, and other donated gifts.

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