Northland's Very Own: Jake Christopherson

By KBJR News 1

November 19, 2010 Updated Nov 19, 2010 at 9:39 AM CDT

Life hasn't always been easy for Jake Christopherson.

Finances have consistently been a strain in his family.

To make ends meet Jake's mother worked long difficult hours, leaving Jake under the frequent care of his grandfather, who played a pivotal role in his life.

"It was just such a unique bond between those two. That is why ever since he was little he had this goal to go to school and be a conservation officer," says Jake's mother Kaireen Leppanen.

"Since I was little I always wanted to be a conservation officer and work for the DNR because I love the outdoors and he was such a big role model to me and I always wanted to be just like him," says Jake.

When Jake was seven years old he lost his grandfather to cancer.

It was then that Jake became more determined then ever to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.

But while the will was strong, finding the resources to achieve that goal was a challenge.

Then one day his mother stumbled on a unique opportunity on Facebook.

"I was looking at Facebook and on the side they have all of the ads and I saw one that said Subway High School Hero's and it just caught my eye for some reason so then I clicked on it and I looked," says Kaireen.

Jake's mother then discovered that she could nominate her son for a $10,000 dollar scholarship.

"The scholarship would be an excellent opportunity for Jake. It would give him a head-start that he might not have had otherwise. His aspiring career goals are perfect for him," says Jake's high school English teacher Sarah Haasis.

Jake is the only nominee from Minnesota in the Subway High School Hero Scholarship.

The winner will be chosen through the highest number of online voters.

Although Jake's loved ones know he has a lot of competition, they are hoping the community will pull together for one of their own.

"It would be one step closer for him achieving his goal and getting his dream and that's all that you want for your kids for their dreams to come true," says Kaireen.

There are more than 100 students nominated for the scholarship and Jake is in the top ten.

To vote, you can search for Subway High School Heroes on Facebook and click on Jake Christopherson.

Voting ends on December 15th.