Afton Terry, a sixth-grader at Arundel Middle School in Odenton, Md., has been selected as the second finalist for the 3M Play to Win Award presented by the Military Bowl and 3M.

As a finalist, Afton will receive two complimentary tickets to attend this year’s Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, benefiting the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, which will be played on Monday, Dec. 31 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. The 3M Play to Win Award winner, which will be announced in mid-December, will receive a prize package and the opportunity to be on the sidelines for the Military Bowl’s opening kickoff.

Afton came to the United States six years ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo when she was adopted by Laura and Jonathan Terry. Jonathan is a U.S. Air Force major, stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland, where he is a judge advocate.

Afton arrived in the United States not knowing a word of English, speaking only her native Lingala. But her mother, Laura Terry, said that within a few months the family had a working communication system and by the time Afton enrolled in school the following fall, she was fluent in English.

“She did great, integrating into the school system and making friends,” Laura Terry said. “She is super-resilient and caught right up.”

Afton is a competitive Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter, demonstrating her dedication to training and good sportsmanship. She began taking an interest in football while watching with her father and grandfather, who are ardent fans of the University of Virginia and Washington Redskins. Since enrolling at Arundel Middle, Afton has reached out to the coach of the school’s flag football team and looks forward to playing next spring.

“I like running across the field, tackling people,” Afton said, though the tackles might have to wait until she puts on pads and plays tackle football.

Nominations for the 3M Play to Win Award are still being accepted at militarybowl.org/3M. The Award is open to student-athletes in fifth through eighth grades who have some or all of these qualities:

Passionate about football and displaying team spirit

Has demonstrated STEM attributes (by integrating STEM into their education plan and has on-going community engagement)

Has a parent who serves or has served in the military

Lives in the greater Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area

Tickets for the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, benefiting the USO, are on sale. Starting at $30, tickets can be purchased online at militarybowl.org or by calling Ticket Alternative at 877-725-8849. This year’s Military Bowl once again will match representatives from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the American Athletic Conference.

Proceeds from the Bowl also benefit Patriot Point, the Military Bowl’s 290-acre retreat for recovering service members, their families and caregivers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

For the latest updates please visit militarybowl.org, follow on Twitter and Instagram @MilitaryBowl, like the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman on Facebook or download the Military Bowl app.