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Latrobe Council honors Greater Latrobe senior for community service |

Latrobe Council honors Greater Latrobe senior for community service

Jeff Himler
| Friday, December 14, 2018 1:33 a.m
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Latrobe Councilman Eric Bartels, right, presents the city’s semi-annual Student Recognition Award to Greater Latrobe High School senior Adam Hoffman at the Dec. 10, 2018, council meeting.

Greater Latrobe senior Adam Hoffman has honed his leadership skills throughout his high school career.

He served as captain of the Wildcats football team in 2015, the same year he joined student council. Since then, he’s become secretary of his school’s National Honor Society chapter, a non-voting student representative to the Greater Latrobe School Board and a recruit instructor and sergeant major with the Young Marines group — all while maintaining a grade point average above 4.15.

Hoffman added to his resume this week, when he received Latrobe City Council’s semi-annual Student Recognition Award.

Councilman Eric Bartels, who presented the award, told Hoffman it is given to a top student at Greater Latrobe who goes beyond academic achievement to also make a difference through community service.

“We wanted to present you with an award and encourage you to continue doing that as you move forward,” Bartels said.

Greater Latrobe Senior High Principal Jon Mains applauded the council’s selection of Hoffman as its latest honoree.

“He is one of the kindest kids we have in our high school,” Mains said. He cited one of Hoffman’s most recent efforts — leading his school to adopt a program that encourages students to create an atmosphere of support and caring for their peers who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide or other mental health issues. The program also is meant to help teens open up and have beneficial discussions about those issues.

Hoffman and a friend started the concept at Greater Latrobe as the Wildcat Wellness program in 2017. Through Dr. Lucinda Soltys, who has since retired as the district’s director of pupil services. they learned about and adopted a similar program called Aevidum.

A term based on Latin root words, Aevidum means, “I’ve got your back,” Hoffman explained.

The program began at Cocalico High School in Lancaster County, in response to a student’s 2003 suicide. It has since grown to include more than 150 chapters in the state — at colleges as well as in high schools, middle schools and elementary schools.

“We thought this was a great opportunity,” Hoffman said about incorporating Aevidum at Greater Latrobe. “It was a little bit of a road map for us, something we could rely on and something that people knew about.”

Hoffman is now president of the Aevidum Club at Greater Latrobe. Mt. Pleasant Area and Norwin high school students also have taken part in training for the program.

“I think Aevidum is a great part of what’s happening in our district,” Hoffman said, noting members strive to “be approachable to people, and help them decide if they need help.”

Mains noted Hoffman has taken a leading role in developing interest in the program at Greater Latrobe, by leading two assemblies for fellow students, and beyond.

“He did such a great job doing that that the Westmoreland County Intermediate Unit asked he and part of the Aevidum Club to present to the superintendents, other administrators and community people across the county.”

Hoffman has volunteered at a local soup kitchen and nursing home and at the Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children. He is planning to major in physics in college while participating in the Army ROTC program.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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