For a teenager, Chase Loomis is strongly rooted in reality.
Even when he plays video games, he prefers those with “realistic elements,” such as Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty.
“I have a very realistic view on life,” he said. “Life is what it is; you can’t really sugarcoat it.”
Recently selected to participate in the upcoming National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security in Washington, D.C., Loomis, 16, will have the chance to apply that no nonsense clear-headedness in a strategy simulation exercise where he and other students will act as major players in an international incident.
Scheduled for the end of February through the beginning of March, the six-day session will allow students interested in national security careers to get firsthand experience in the field, as well as the chance to meet and learn from government officials.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what the military is all about and broadening my horizon and spectrum on things,” said Loomis, who has an interest in the military’s departments of Defense and Research and Development.
He also has an interest in biomedical engineering and hopes to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
When he visited MIT a year ago, he said he found it to be quite fun. “The people there aren’t all stereotypes; they’re all flamboyant,” he said. “It’s all hands-on and there’s so much to do there.”
As a junior and honor student at Goddard High School, Loomis has much to do here as well, with AP classes in English, anatomy, calculus, U.S. history and chemistry — and projects due soon in several of his courses.
“That’s the only reason I like math — you can’t get a project in math,” he joked.
Loomis grew up loving math and science and today participates in the Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement program where he designs and programs robots. “I enjoy it. I get to engage myself a little more, go outside the classroom and meet new people,” he said.
Loomis is also active in various extracurricular activities, one is the Key Club, which performs community service projects such as helping senior citizens. He said community service, like manners, are “just a good thing to do.”
He also finds time for weight training at his high school. Coach Chris White said Loomis “takes a lot of pride in himself and keeping himself in shape.”
On Wednesdays, White said he takes a class to Del Norte Elementary School to partner with younger children for the school’s community fitness program, Walking Wednesdays.
Many of the smaller children like jogging with Loomis, White said, and Loomis does a great job helping them earn beads to exchange for prizes.
“It’s nice to see kids like Chase who don’t mind being around little kids and being a role model, ” White said. “The kids really look up to him; he’s one of those kids who leads by example.”
He said it speaks to Loomis’ character. “You can tell his parents did a good job raising him with values,” he said.
Loomis said he has a lot of respect for White and considers him one of his major role models, along with his father Aric.
“He’s always been there to help me, always been there to cheer me on,” said Loomis of his father.
Aric jokingly describes his son, an only child, as being “a 40-year-old in a 16-year-old’s body.”
When his son was a seventh-grader at Berrendo Middle School, Aric said Chase lectured another student who tried to cheat off him. “He told her she wouldn’t amount to anything if she cheated off people,” he said. “She had to think for herself.”
Though an old soul, Chase retains interests relevant to a teenage boy. In addition to first-person shooter video games, he also likes motorcycles. Though he hasn’t had much time to ride his 1983 Kawasaki KZ550, he recently got it repainted. He describes the new color as red like “dehydrated blood.”
Chase said he appreciates his parents and realizes how much they have invested in him, both in faith and finances. He said he will miss them while away, “but I also understand that I will be coming back.”
Aric said he knows his son will do well, as usual. “He’s very motivated; whatever he puts his mind to, he achieves,” he said.