The Starchild

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Warren Spearman
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Moving often. Being uprooted from people you've come to know and love. Leaving a place at the moment you're getting used to it. These are some of the situations faces a military child through his or her formative years.

It can be a tough life. In essence, you're living out of a suitcase for what could be a third of your life. But there are some kids who adapt, and achieve, no matter where they are.

One such young lady is Jessie Brodeur. She is the daughter of Lt. Col. Scott Brodeur, 4th Space Control Squadron commander and his wife Tara, and is an honor student at Alamogordo High School and was selected as one of 12 students in the entire world to participate in the prestigious Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program, held at the world renowned West Point Military Academy in West Point, New York.

The Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program was established by the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) in 2006 to identify exemplary young people.

"To describe my experience at West Point in a few short sentences would be impossible," she says. "It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I am so lucky to have been chosen to do experience something so amazing."

"Every day was an adventure, she continues. From meeting Ms. Hesselbein herself to fencing with cadets, there would have been so many amazing experiences I would have never had if I didn't attend this program. I became close with the other 11 student leaders, and I can now say I have friends from all over the world."

Interestingly enough, Jessie never had sights on joining the military, as the constant moving around and certain aspects of military life soured her on making it a career. Yet her experience at West Point made her think twice.

"Seeing the pride each cadet had in serving their country was truly inspiring," she says. "I'm also extremely type A, so I appreciated the structure and organization of the academy itself.

Despite her newfound appreciation for the cadet life, she is also looking farther west in terms of her future.

She is considering attending to Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona with a concentration in business or communications. She hopes to someday become a coordinator with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

For Jessie, the decision to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation is a personal one.
"I like making kids happy," she says. "I like being around kids and Make-A-Wish is really inspiring. I want to be the one to make their day."

Of course, there is more to Jessie than just her ambitions. She's 100 meter and 300 meter hurdles runner in track and field, her favorite sport. She's also a quick-witted leader who loves to read and write, and someone who has a great sense of humor, saying it would take a "3- page essay" to describe herself.

"My sense of humor is a huge part of who I am," she says."

A self-described "nerd," you're more likely to find her doing her homework on weekends rather than hanging out and doing "cool stuff." And underneath it all, she's an all American teenage girl.

"I'm shamelessly obsessed with the boy band One Direction," she says.

The transient lifestyle of a military kid can be hard, and Jessie is a veteran.

She also uses her experience as a military kid to help those who might have trouble adjusting to their new surroundings. She's Second Vice President of the Student 2 Student Program at Alamogordo High School.

The Student 2 Student program welcomes new military connected students who have moved to the area, and helps them find their way around their new surroundings.

"After attending seven different schools, as well as spending two years being home schooled, I am very familiar with the feeling of being the 'the new kid,' "she says. "I feel that my experience as a military child is helpful to new students at Alamogordo because it makes me relatable and understanding to all the fears and struggles that every kid goes through on the first day of school."

She has her whole future ahead of her, and she's going into that future on her terms.

"I take pride in knowing that I have the respect to listen and abide by the rules and norms of society, she says, but also the courage to think outside of the box and do something completely different than what everyone else is doing."