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April 24, 2013

Floating on air: Jerry Copas, local balloonist, reflects on his career and competitions

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“I wish it were more accessible to more people because it’s so much fun,” Copas said. “I was lucky to grow up at such a young age to get involved with it. We’re trying to change that and get some kind of outreach activities with some of the colleges.”

He said one student has received a scholarship through his organization to attend a national balloon education camp, but he hopes more young people are able to get into the field in spite of the high operating costs of the hobby.

But he said he still loves the reactions of the people who fly up with him for the first time.

“In 30 years of doing this, I’ve never had anyone have a bad time,” Copas said. “I’ve never had anyone say, ‘Stop, take me back down.’”

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Students who attended the Renaissance Academy's Culture Camp lead other students in an exercise, brainstorming thoughts, fears and opinions of the new learning style and school. The Academy is largely based on projects, working in groups and hands-on education.

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