By Andrea Sutherland (Fort Carson)July 7, 2011
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Keenan Britton knows he has to stay in line. If not, he’d have to answer to his mother.
“Oh he knows I’d have something to say,” said Nina Britton, a retired Army major and a utilization review nurse for central referral at Fort Carson.
Nina Britton doesn’t have much to worry about, though. As a junior at Falcon High School, Keenan Britton holds a 3.0 GPA, has played varsity football, basketball and track since his freshman year and is one of three leaders of the school’s “Student to Student (S2S)” program, which helps new students adjust to their new school and classmates.
“I’ve always liked helping people,” Keenan Britton, 16, said. “I wouldn’t want
to be one of those kids sitting by myself.”
Many students at Falcon High School, part of District 49, are from military families and programs like S2S help students who have just moved to the area.
“In middle school, I helped incoming sixth-graders,” Keenan Britton said. “(In high school) a mentor contacted me to be part of S2S. I’ve worked my way up since.”
Falcon High School’s S2S program was one of four selected from 273 schools to be highlighted at the 2011 Military Child Education Coalition conference June 20-23.
Officials from Keenan Britton’s school selected him and another student leader to travel to Nashville, Tenn. to deliver an eight-minute presentation in front of a crowd of 750, made up of educators, community leaders and high-ranking military officers.
“We had to give a presentation on the kinds of things we do for the new students after the kids arrive,” he said, highlighting community service projects, dances and pancake breakfasts.
For 13 years, the Military Child Education Coalition has held annual conferences to address the challenges military-connected children and families face " deployment of a parent, multiple moves and transitioning to new environments.
“I’ve only had to move once and that was in the same state,” Keenan Britton said. “I’ve been lucky.”
“Keenan is a great kid,” said Gregory Morris, a counselor at Falcon High School. “He has such a compassionate heart. It makes him really useful as a leader.”
“I definitely consider myself a role model to some of the incoming freshman,” Keenan Britton said. “I try to set a good example.”
As Britton enters his junior year, his younger brother, Myles, will be entering Falcon High School as a freshman.
“Of course I’ll try to help him,” he said.