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CLC student to AF Academy

Jeremiah Hoffman’s smile speaks volumes, his braces
glistening and eyes bright as he describes the thrill of soaring with eagles.
The glider’s 60-foot wingspan and warm summer thermals lift the young pilot
above a rare panorama of southern Minnesota landscape. “It’s a
fantastic experience, to ride from 3,000 feet to 6,000 and sometimes see eagles
up there with me,” said the Brainerd teen of his 40 glider flights provided as
part of a summer academy offered at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter,
through the Civil Air Patrol. At
18, the Central Lakes College student is flying high academically, having been
a National Merit Finalist and studied his way to perfect grades. This while
serving as commander of the Brainerd Civil Air Patrol squadron.

In June the CLC honor student trades his Civil Air Patrol
“wings” for an appointment to a dream job. Jeremiah has been accepted to the
U.S. Air Force Academy and looks forward to traveling to Colorado Springs,
Colo., for orientation. Only 10 percent of applicants are accepted.
“I would like to be an Air Force
pilot,” he said. “There are many other roles that I’d also be willing to
explore.” Right up there on the list is a prospect of space flight, part of an
aerospace team.
            He said he
would consider a career with NASA. He is researching the work of a space
operations officer, which could be likened to a civilian air traffic controller
tracking airspace in crowded skies.
with science and math since childhood, Jeremiah has also explored the prospect
of university studies in physics, aeronautics or aerospace engineering. He has
looked at the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Lakes College has helped him prepare. “I was home-schooled until last year,” he
said, when he enrolled in the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option program that
qualifies eligible high school students to earn college credits.
            Jeremiah completed
16 college courses and achieved a perfect 4.0 grade-point average this year and
a cumulative GPA nearly as good.
            “PSEO has
been invaluable,” he said. “It provided a way to earn two full years of college
credit virtually free and made the transition from home school to college
before moving away from home. I had access to faculty with knowledge and more
peers with interest in the subjects and fields which interest me most.”
            Jeremiah is
the son of Curt and Katie Hoffman. He has six brothers and five sisters and is
the second oldest. Sister Kaylee is a high school junior and PSEO student at
CLC. His older brother Jordan also has been a PSEO student at CLC.
            If his
younger siblings find their way to CLC, one instructor welcoming them will be
Pam Pruitt in mathematics. She cherishes the qualities Jeremiah has exhibited
in three calculus courses she has taught the honor student.
            He’s not
only exceptionally bright,” she said. ”He also is very respectful, polite,
humble, and grounded. His folks must be really proud. I think he listens and
watches during class and then learns the rest all on his own. He’s an ‘A’
student who doesn’t create any extra work and he will do very well as he
continues his education.”
In his non-academic time, Jeremiah
works 20 hours per week at Culver’s, played soccer for Lake Region Christian
School in the fall and was a sprinter with the Brainerd High School track team
in the spring.
            As cadet
commander of the local CAP squadron he spends at least six hours per week tending
to duties that include a weekly squadron meeting.
            With two grandfathers who
were in the Air Force, Jeremiah has been hearing about this branch of military
service since he was a child. It has motivated him. Another achievement has
been receiving the Billy Mitchell Award that honors aviation advocates, presented
to him by State Rep. John Ward and Civilian Air Patrol Squadron Commander Dale
            He has also been an
American Legion Boys State delegate (2011) and a participant in the Central
Lakes College Science and Engineering Camp (2009).

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