Welcome to the first-ever Bloom "MilTeen Spotlight," where we highlight military brats doing amazing things in their communities. For our first installment, we are excited to feature SHANON, a Marine Brat currently attending Penn State University in State College, PA. Shanon hosts "The Shanon Show," a podcast that spotlights and discusses the lives of military teens. He's also a DoDEA alumnus and the student liaison for the Museum of the American Military Family. Keep reading to learn more about Shanon, his experiences as a military teen, and his work highlighting our community!
Where have you lived? Which location was your favorite and why?
I was born in Camp Pendleton, California, lived there for five years, then I went to Stafford, Virginia for four years. Left there for Cedar Point, North Carolina where I stayed for three years. Then back to Stafford for two more years. Then I made the big move to Okinawa, Japan where I did my first three years of high school. Then my family came back to the states where I did my senior year in Mooresville, North Carolina. And finally, I now live in State College, PA where I attend Penn State University. WE ARE!
As for my favorite, it would definitely be Okinawa. I loved the food, had so many great memories with my friends, and most importantly I loved being a Kubasaki Dragon, DRAGON FIRE!
Describe The Shanon Show in your own words. What inspired you to start it?
Well for starters, the Shanon Show is a podcast. It’s a place for military kids to come on the show, talk about their experiences, and hang out. Lot of the times our conversation drifts into completely off-topic rambles about dumb stuff we did back in high school, but every now and then you’ll find some intelligent conversation if you listen long enough. I was inspired to start it because I was bored during a pandemic. Julia Rose had me on her podcast, I thought it was a lot of fun, so I made my own. Being a military kid is what I know about most other than obscure baseball statistics, so I felt it was something that I was qualified to talk about.
What are some highlights of your time at The Shanon Show (e.g. memorable experiences, accomplishments, lessons, etc.)?
Too many to choose just one. Some of my favorite episodes are our bootcamp episodes, where we
welcome back new service members from bootcamp and hear their stories. We have also had trials on the podcast to settle debates from high school. We have an awards show every December to recognize the best of the podcast that year as well as the phenomenal guests that make it what it is. Also can’t forget the Panel of Preposterous episodes where we answer dumb questions for an hour. I also pissed off the entire country of New Zealand after I told them that their country didn’t actually exist. More notably, I had the Director of DODEA. Mr. Tom Brady, on the show -- kinda a big deal. But then again, so is the Shanon Show. :)
Are there any other hobbies, organizations, or clubs that you are passionate about? Tell us more!
Back in high school I played a lot of tennis, participated in some student government, and made mediocre short films. I’m the student liaison at the Museum of the American Military Family, a museum that does a ton of great stuff preserving the rich history of military families. During the summers and winter breaks I work at a tennis club where I string racquets and teach little munchkins how to hit balls. I try not to punt them, as my patience is often tested to the limits. I also watch Sixers basketball, a lot of it.
What’s next for you personally, and for The Shanon Show? Any particular goals or exciting plans?
I have a very exciting project that’s coming out this summer, can’t tell you guys about it [fpr] a few months. For the Shanon Show, I am going to continue showcasing military-related kids all over the world, as well as screw around enough so that my future employers are queasy when they dig up my channel.
What’s something that you wish others understood about military life?
Milkids are literally just normal kids that move a lot. We have had some cool experiences and don’t mind sharing them, but don’t treat us any differently because we are new or come from a unique place. We want friends, good grades, and to have fun, just like you do. Best thing you can do is take us under your wing, introduce us to people, and help us make connections in our new home. That’s always appreciated.
What words of wisdom do you have for other current or future military teens?
Words of wisdom? If you’re looking for wisdom, I’m probably not your guy. But I do want to see military teens continue to be ambitious and outgoing, no matter where they go. Don’t let a tough move keep you from doing what you love. Seek out opportunities that interest you and become involved. A change in scenery shouldn’t prevent that.
Where can our readers follow you or get involved with The Shanon Show?
You can follow us on Instagram (@theshanonshow) and subscribe to the podcast on YouTube at youtube.com/shanonshow. If you want to get involved or come on the podcast, send me a DM and I’ll be happy to collaborate!