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Shantrell Shae Burke, the recipient of Teen of the Month for January, laughs as she works on homework at Teen Squad at the Midway Park Community Center Feb. 3. Teen of the month is awarded through Teen Squad an after school program for teenagers aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Burke is an athlete and enjoys the outdoors.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera

Burke named Teen of The Month

10 Feb 2012 | Lance Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera

Teen Squad, a Children, Youth and Teen Program aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, has chosen Shantrell Burke as January’s Teen of the Month.

Teen of the Month is a program that highlights one of their members and places them a step closer to a drawing to be nominated for Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year and the Boys & Girls Club of America’s Youth of the Year, the national winner of which receives a $50,000 scholarship.

“(Burke) regularly attends Teen Squad,” said Rebecca Wright, a Children, Youth and Teen Program assistant with Teen Squad. “She has a wonderful attitude. She is a charming young lady who is a pleasure to be around. She’s nice to everyone. She’s always there when we have a community service project (including unpopular projects).”

Burke is from Swainsboro, Ga., a place with wide open places that she visits during holidays and summers to see her relatives.

“(When I visit Swainsboro) I always have something to do,” said Burke. “We have a pool and horses and dogs. It’s a change, a chance to get away from what I always do.”

Burke enjoys the outdoors, and credits it to her family’s love for it. She is quite close with her family, including her younger brothers.

While some teens may find their younger siblings more of a nuisance than benefit, she finds that her siblings brighten up her life and often give her feedback when she needs it.

She plays sports including basketball, soccer, softball and cheerleading.

“Sports help you tremendously,” said Burke. “They keep you away from the bad stuff.”

Burke feels that sports help people stay away from negative outlets by giving them a wider support system to keep them accountable and that they help people gain confidence.

“If I didn’t do sports, I’d be (a) quiet (person),” said Burke.

Burke also volunteers through Teen Squad’s Keystone Club, a group that focuses on academic success, career preparation and community service, according to     their website.

She has helped through efforts toward recycling, community clean-ups, and with donations to the Salvation Army.

“Volunteering makes me happy,” said Burke. “Even if you only help a little bit it could really help a person.”

Victoria Wheelen, Burke’s best friend, expected that at some point Burke would be awarded Teen of the Month.

“(Burke) makes things exciting,” said Wheelen. “She makes me want to go to Teen Squad. Being Teen of the Month is a privilege, and I think (Burke) deserves this. She is awesome and trustworthy. She’s everything you could wish for in a friend and I’m not surprised she got it.”

For more information, call 376-1531.