Military teens launch website Bloom for military teens

Military teens launch website Bloom for military teens

by James O’Leary
Humphreys High School senior

Bloom is a website made entirely by military teens, for military teens. Military life can be uncertain, chaotic, difficult, challenging and unpredictable. Moving is especially hard for teenagers, leaving their friends, school and all that they have known behind, and starting a new life in another state or country. Deployments can separate families at crucial times, those who have lived this way for a while are uncertain where “home” even is.

Bloom’s Co-founders, Elena Ashburn and Matthew Oh had just moved away from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where both were heavily involved with the school and community. According to Matthew Oh, moving from Carlisle to Camp Humphreys South Korea felt like he “had been given a taste of paradise and then quickly had it snatched away.” His move to South Korea and Elena’s to Florida were some of the toughest they’d ever experienced.
What could Elena and Matthew do to help others in similar situations?

They had an idea: build a website to encourage military teens, guide those adapting to a new place, and provide a community to help people know that they aren’t alone in their trials. They assembled a diverse team of 20 military brats from 11 states and 2 countries to help to accomplish their goal. The site was written entirely by military teens.

The articles written by these military brats were separated into 4 categories: Military Life, Moving, People, and Experiences. Bloom also showcases artwork, music, and other creations from military teens, such as Uprooted: a song for military kids by Co-founders Matthew and Elena together with Lola Gehman.

Here’s a few insights on the life of the military teen from Bloom’s writers:
Matthew Ahn, a writer for Bloom (not to be confused with Co-founder Matthew Oh) writes: “There are many perks of being a military brat, but there are also sacrifices we take. Although the moving process is tough, we push through and adapt.”

In an article I wrote for Bloom myself, I noted how the changes of military life mimic Eccl 3: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”

April is “Month of the Military Child”, so Bloom’s release on April 10th was perfect timing. Making the website was also something fun in itself, especially when other activities are complicated or restricted due to the novel Coronavirus. Now that the website is launched, it will be exciting to see what the future holds for Bloom. Military teens across the globe will be inspired to “Bloom” where they are planted (even when uprooted after a move).

Be sure to check out the website at:
Want to have your own creations featured? Go to the submit your work page under the creator spotlight tab.
Like us on Facebook at: Bloom Empowering the Military Teen
Or follow us on Instagram at: Bloom Military Teens

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