Mesa Community College students Jammie and Aaron Hoffman find their motivation and drive to succeed in the quote, “I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it.”
Their heartwarming story is one of trials and successes, leading them to the Spring 2012 Mesa Community College graduation stage.
During the 1994-1995 academic school year, Jammie and Aaron met at the LDS Institute across the street from MCC. Both were attending classes at the College. They became engaged in July 1995 and set their wedding date for December of the same year.
Tragically, in October of 1995, they were in a car accident as they swerved to miss a drunk driver. Jammie was ejected from the vehicle and sustained several internal injuries, including a severed spinal cord, making her a paraplegic. She has been confined to a wheelchair since that day. Aaron sustained a crushed pelvis, numerous internal injuries, facial injuries and a double concussion. His face was reconstructed completely using titanium mesh. The accident left Jammie in the hospital for one and a half months and Aaron there for over two months.
As they began their recovery together, they also celebrated their wedding. Aaron and Jammie were married on May 10, 1996.
Aaron wanted to return to college. Five years following the accident, he completed a pipe fitting apprenticeship through Pennsylvania State’s distance learning program and proceeded to earn a Journeyman’s card in pipe fitting.
While waiting until her disability came through, Jammie worked at Bank of America in the corporate cash vault.
Aaron worked various pipe fitting jobs in Arizona. He took a voluntary layoff with the Union and the couple moved to Colorado in 2007 where he worked installing fire sprinklers. However, three years later, when the economy declined and the work grew sparse, they decided to return to Arizona.
Aaron and Jammie made the decision that they both would return to school. They enrolled at Mesa Community College, where they started taking classes again in Fall 2010.
Jammie chose to pursue an Associate in Arts degree in Music which she will receive this May. Her love of music began in 5th grade when she started playing the viola. She also plays piano. Jammie is third chair viola in the MCC Community Orchestra, is an honor student and Phi Theta Kappa member. Jammie has been accepted to Northern Arizona University and will begin the Music Education and Performance Major this fall.
Aaron chose to pursue a degree in Agribusiness and Urban Horticulture. He was looking for a future career that would allow him to be outside and not stuck behind a desk. Aaron will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science this spring. His interest in ag business began as a child raising pigs for 4-H. He was also an active member of the FFA while attending high school. Aaron has also been accepted to Northern Arizona University and plans to major in Wildlife Management.
While attending school, Aaron has worked several side jobs. However, Aaron and Jammie are grateful to Aaron’s dad for all he has done.
“We have been very fortunate and blessed that Aaron’s dad has helped us by giving us a place to live rent free and helping us to buy a truck.” stated Jammie. “Even though scholarships and grants have helped us to fund our education, he has made the biggest difference in our lives and if it wasn’t for all he has done we couldn’t be in school.”
While they have experienced setbacks and challenges, the determination that both Aaron and Jammie have to succeed will be recognized on May 3rd during the MCC Academic, Honors and Awards Recognition ceremony.
Jammie and Aaron look forward to celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary on May 10 and crossing the graduation stage together on May 11 knowing that all they have encountered through life has been worth it.