Boerema bound for West Point

Published 7:20 pm Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

TERRA CEIA — A senior at Terra Ceia Christian School will leave behind his small hometown later this year to begin his college education at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Kiam Boerema, 18-year-old son of Edward and Nelly Boerema of Pantego, recently received his official notification of acceptance. He was nominated by U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., R-N.C.
Boerema is the grandson of Tina Boerema of Pantego and the late Gerrit Boerema and Jobe and Sina Den Otter of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The elder Boeremas were a National Farm Family of the Year. They received the award from President Richard Nixon during a ceremony at the White House in 1971.
The youngest of five children, Boerema’s siblings are brothers Galen, Isaac and Jurgen, and sister Marike. All are graduates of Terra Ceia Christian School.
Boerema has attended TCCS since kindergarten. He said he’s enjoyed his time at the school.
“Academically, I think we’re very thorough, and I like the connection of a small community,” he said. “I’ve learned how to be a leader here, and I’ve been strengthened as a Christian here and that has really helped me.”
Boerema has been active in TCCS sports (he plays soccer and basketball), and he serves as president of the Leadership Team, which he likened to a student council in a public school.
“The members of the Leadership Team are nominated by the teachers, and the students on the team vote for the president,” Boerema said.
An honor-roll student, he’s a member of the Beta Club, Quiz Bowl and Science Olympiad teams and the chapel committee. Boerema attends Covenant United Reformed Church in Pantego, where he is active in the church’s youth group. After school, he works on the family farm in the Grassy Ridge community.
In 2008, he indulged his love of science and math by participating in Summer Ventures, a hands-on, state-sponsored program held at Appalachian State University.
All this, he said, has helped prepare him for the next step in life. He’s set to graduate from TCCS on May 28, and on June 28 he’s to report to West Point.
“My interest in West Point started in ninth grade. I’ve been interested in military service, and West Point caught my eye,” Boerema said. “It has a very prestigious record, and it offers a lot of opportunities.”
He plans to pursue a four-year degree in history, which will be followed up by a mandatory five-year commitment to the Army and three years of service in the reserves. His tuition and lodging will be completely covered, he said.
“I’m sure it will be very challenging physically and academically, and I’m looking forward to that, but I’m also kind of anxious,” Boerema said. “The first year we can only come home on Christmas break. You’re pretty limited your first year.”
But it’s worth it, he said.
“The education that I’ll get is very prestigious, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve my country as an Army officer,” Boerema said.