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Bloom Buzz


"The children of military service members are often celebrated for their emotional adaptability. They move at a moment's notice depending on their parent's deployment, hopscotching the globe, moving from school to school and leaving friends. But the kids, the comforting narrative goes, are tough. They'll be fine. But maybe they won't be — and a new survey, conducted by teenagers from military families themselves, sheds light on the struggles of this taken-for-granted group."


"Connectedness is a key issue, which is what Bloom is working toward on a worldwide level. But there needs to be a better sense of community on bases among teens, Elena said. Teens need to talk with others about what’s going on in their lives, she said. 'Knowing you’re not alone in your struggles is helpful. So many other people have been going through it too, and they might have ways and methods to help you cope with it. It could be incredibly helpful. That’s what we try to do at Bloom.'"


"We applaud the work of the co-founders of Bloom, who are working to elevate and amplify the voices of military-connected teens. Their advocacy and engagement in ensuring the needs of military children are met is admirable. It is our hope that together we can work to build resilience and healthy lives for those who choose to serve. We no longer can silo military families into three separate entities — we must view them as one unit that is equally impacted by service in the military. When one serves, all serve."


"The life of the military teen is full of excitement — the chance to see the world, form diverse networks of friends, and gain wider perspectives are priceless opportunities for which we are deeply grateful. But when we hit the teenage years, we aren’t the cute little kids waving American flags rushing to greet their soldier parents that you see in viral videos anymore. Beneath the perfect portraits of pride sometimes lies a sea of struggle and sacrifice."


"Advocacy regarding the military community’s pain points has become a hot topic in recent years. One noticeable gap was the ability to serve its youth, and two Army teens decided to fix it. 

Matthew Oh and Elena Ashburn said they are the closest of friends, despite their agreed drastic differences in personality."


"Almost two years later the team is now 30 strong and they’ve partnered with organizations like the National Military Family Association."


"Embodying the resiliency of military children, Elena Ashburn, the 2022 Operation Homefront Military Child of the Year for the Army, was able to turn her personal challenges into positive resources for others.

During one year at Carlisle High School — her first public school — she became student body president, joined the school’s theatre company and made friends to whom she could finally relate."

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