Kudos! – March 1, 2013

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Colorado teen earns pilot’s license from Peak Aviation

After demonstrating several maneuvers, landings, take-offs, flight planning, communications and some practice emergency procedures, Erik VanderWerf, 17, earned a private pilot airplane single engine land certificate in January. Erik studied at Cutter Aviation with an instructor from Peak Aviation.

Erik, son of Stan VanderWerf, also a private pilot and former Air Force officer, and Betsy VanderWerf, attends Colorado Virtual Academy.

Erik started training in the fall of 2011 and soloed on his 16th birthday — the youngest age the FAA will permit solo flights in powered aircraft. The FAA issues private licenses at 17 after students complete a full flight training program with a minimum of 40 hours, and several types of instruction, including solo cross-country flights, which Erik achieved successfully, flying to both Limon and La Junta as part of his student pilot training.

Farm Credit of Southern Colorado donates funds for new CSU ag center

Farm Credit of Southern Colorado, with other agricultural lenders, has donated $1 million for construction of a modern Center for Agricultural Education at Colorado State University. Farm Credit of Southern Colorado kicked in $50,000 over five years.

Other partners are CoBank, American AgCredit and Premier Farm Credit — all members of the Farm Credit System.

“Farm Credit of Southern Colorado is very pleased to be part of this collaboration to enhance agricultural education in Colorado,” said Russ Tomky, Farm Credit of Southern Colorado president and CEO.

Dr. Neal Jepson named community health champion

Dr. Neal Jepson, who volunteers at Peak Vista Community Health Centers, is known for his willingness to see last-minute referrals and is genuinely happy to volunteer his time.

He is a published ophthalmologist who specializes in retinal disease and intraocular lenses and now has been named Community Health Champion.

Colorado Community Health Network, the association of Colorado Community Health Centers, named Jepson a Community Health Champion at its recent annual legislative gathering. Each year, CCHN recognizes a volunteer clinician who is dedicated to providing care to the medically underserved.

Community helps replace kids’ bikes that burned in Mountain Shadows

Kids on Bikes, a non-profit organization, gave new bikes to 15 children affected by the Waldo Canyon fire. In September 2012, The Kurt Rogers Memorial Ride raised $3,600 and it was dedicated to the kids in Mountain Shadows who lost their bikes in the fire. The kids and their families were invited this month by Kids on Bikes to choose a new bike.