Lejeune High School student named 2017 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year.

Published: Mar. 2, 2017 at 8:41 PM EST
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It's through peer mentorship and personal achievement that one Eastern Carolina student is being recognized and awarded for.

A Lejeune High School student has been named the 2017 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year. It's the third consecutive year that a student from the school has been named.

Many students walk the halls of Lejeune High School, but one of those students caught the eye of his teacher.

"He represents everything good, that our kids have in them, he gives back to the community," Dr. Samantha Kay says.

Those are just some of the reasons that Kay says she nominated Jackson Beatty for Marine Corps Military Child of the Year.

Beatty was announced as a semi-finalist from a national pool of applicants and then he was told he won the award.

"This is an honor because I'm representing the whole Marine Corps," Beatty says.

An honor that hasn't come without its fair share of challenges.

Beatty has a condition called skeletal dysplasia, which hampers the growth of bones and joints.

"I'm short, I've been shorter than all my peers and in elementary and middle school, I was bullied for it," he tells WITN. "And I went into a shell and I didn't really talk to anyone."

"We never let him use it as a crutch," says Somer Beatty, Jackson's mother. "He really does deserve it, he's a kid that goes above and beyond to do everything."

That everything includes being involved in peer mentorship, a member of his school's wrestling team, captain of the marching band and he has a near perfect GPA.

Thursday, Beatty was presented with an honorary coin from the commanding general of Camp Lejeune.

"If you look at the things that he's done, the volunteering activities that he does, for him it's all about others," says Brig. General Thomas Weidley.

Beatty will attend the University of Alabama in the fall. He will also receive $10,000 and be flown to Washington, D.C. for a ceremony with senior military leaders.

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