The Mojave Transportation Museum and the Mojave Chamber of Commerce held their 11th Annual Excellence in Academics Recognition Banquet April 24 at the Mojave Veterans Building.
The banquet recognizes high school seniors who achieved a 4.0 Grade Point Average from five East Kern County high schools, which includes Desert Junior Senior High School.
Col. Lawrence Hoffman, U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School commandant, along with his wife Jill, were guest speakers at the event. Both Hoffmans talked to the aspiring teenagers about how “education is the key to unlock your future.” Both Colonel and Jill Hoffman grew up around the Antelope Valley (graduating from Desert High School and Quartz Hill High School respectively) and both attributed their success and being able to follow their aviation dreams through their educational achievements.
As the daughter of world famous pilot, Dick Rutan, and niece of revolutionary aeronautical designer, Burt Rutan, Jill Rutan Hoffman has witnessed many aviation firsts. From the milestone-setting Voyager flight of 1986 to the X-Prize winning space flights of SpaceShipOne, Jill had a ringside seat to modern civilian aviation history. She has authored two books.
†Jill and†her husband†have traveled the world during their 24 years in the Air Force while†Colonel Hoffman†piloted more than 45 different types of military aircraft in combat, operations, and test flights.
Through donations and mentorship,†the†Hoffmans†actively support organizations that offer opportunities for young adults to experience the world of aviation and space exploration.