MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Teenagers face a daily dose of challenges that help shape the person they will become. Marine Corps Community Services’ Teen Squad is recognizing teens who make the right choices through Teen of the Month, a monthly title awarded to a teen who shows good citizenship with a strong moral compass.
Mason Haspert, a seventh grader at Brewster Middle School, was chosen for the honor of being February’s Teen of the Month. A budding photographer, who hopes to become a Marine officer in the future, Haspert shows his fellow teens how to be a leader through his positive outlook and determination.
“Every group needs a spark of electricity,” said Tyler James, a friend of Haspert’s. “And (Haspert) is that spark. He likes to help the staff. He’s an overall good kid with a cool head. (Teen Squad) would be boring without him.”
Haspert joined Teen Squad at the urging of friends, who told him he would have a lot of fun there. He asked his mom to sign him up and he now finds himself a friend to many of the youth there.
“At first I only knew about three people (in Teen Squad),” he said. “Now I know all of them.”
Haspert enjoys playing video games, football and Kemps, a popular card game among Teen Squad members.
“I like the things that we do here,” said Haspert. “Everyone is friendly and nice. The staff members are always happy and fun. They play video games with us and we have a lot of trips.”
Haspert said he particularly enjoys the volunteering opportunities he has been able to participate in through the club. He plans to continue volunteering in the future.
“I’d like to volunteer at a hospital,” Haspert said. “I know the people there might really be hurting and I’d like to help them feel better and cheer them up.”
Haspert has entered various competitions through Teen Squad and his school, including an upcoming photography contest that will have the pictures displayed at the Marine Corps Exchange aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. In school, his competitions have ranged from science and writing contests to the stock market game.
“He’s always been a good citizen of the school,” said Susan Cabeceiras, the gifted resources teacher at Brewster Middle School. “He is highly creative, energetic and motivated to learn.”
Haspert hopes to bring these attributes to the Marine Corps in the future.
“I want to be a Marine pilot,” said Haspert. “My dad is in the Marine Corps and he has influenced me to be a Marine. I think I can push myself and be an officer. Marines protect our country and it would be a great honor.”
Haspert has distinguished himself at Teen Squad through his initiative and goodwill. He actively participates in the program and helps the other teens around him, setting a good example for his peers.
“He is a stellar youth,” said Shikamana ‘Mr. KJ’ Kunjufu, a program assistant with Teen Squad. “He displays a positive attitude, he is smart and I believe he has the determination to go very far in life.”
For more information about Teen Squad, call 376-1531 or visit mccslejeune.com/teens.