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JBLM dependent wins multiple awards

Jamon Parker wins Wesley Youth Award

Lakes High School student Jamon Parker is a multiple award winner. Photo credit: Kim Thompson

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Local high school student Jamon Parker is the real deal.

The Lakes High School senior was recently awarded the Comcast Communications Scholarship Award. Applicants are selected based on their submitted essays and desire to enter the communications field. He is also a recipient of the Wesley Youth Award. This award asks applicants to submit an essay on a particular researched topic; the essay, along with letters of recommendation, the student's overall performance and community contributions, are the judging criteria for the award.

Jamon has been a Wesley Youth Award winner for three years in a row.

As for the recent Comcast award announcement, the humble student-athlete was taken by surprise.

"I was really pretty excited, but I was also pretty shocked," he said. "I just wasn't expecting it."

In addition to Jamon's academic excellence, he also pursues his passion for writing in his spare time, plays for the school's basketball team, manages a part-time job as a waiter at Patriot's Landing and helps out with his younger siblings. "Downtime" for the busy teenager consists of basketball (a sport he's been playing since age 5) and hanging out with good friends.

He is also a member of a military family: His stepfather serves in the U.S. Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  

And like many military families, the family moved to Washington state just before his freshman year. Jamon admits that he was worried about the transition to a new school, new state and new people.

"I was not optimistic about moving," he said. "I don't really like new environments or a lot of change. But I do like a challenge and everything happens for a reason."

Jamon accepted the challenge, made the adjustments and settled in to his new school community well. His favorite classes continue to revolve around English and writing. He wants to become a sports journalist, especially for an organization such as ESPN. He's busy honing his writing skills, and he has become a student of the renown sports channel's broadcasts, observing reporting styles, news strategies and how to weave a good narrative.

"I want it so bad," Jamon smiled.

With his dream in mind, Jamon has been checking out different colleges these days. Recent visits to the Seattle and Tacoma campuses of the University of Washington were a good experience.

"I learned a couple of things," Jamon said. "They have some good programs and they told me about them ... But I really enjoyed exploring on my own and learning about them for myself, too."

And going out of state is not necessarily out of the question, either: the University of Oklahoma may beckon as well. An Oklahoma native, Jamon spends every summer visiting family and friends there. He loves his ties to the state and finds something new and interesting during every visit.

It's this love of learning, independent thinking and maturity beyond his years that drives Jamon. He's also tremendously polite and responsible, traits that have been with him since early childhood. His mother, Jamie Johnson, confirms this.

"As the oldest of three, he was always taking on the role of being responsible and helped out with his younger siblings," she said. "We tried to instill good manners in him, too. He has always been the same since I can remember - a really responsible and good kid ... I couldn't be more proud of Jamon. He definitely works hard."

So, with a bright future ahead and more scholarship applications in the works, Jamon reflects back on his life. What would he tell younger student, who are just entering high school? His message is straightforward:

"Start early. Do your assignments. Pay attention in class," he said. "Recently, I took the ACT test and it covers everything you learned. If you don't pay attention in class and do your work, you'll be in high school for awhile ... Also, surround yourself with the best group of people you can, not the most popular ones." 

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