Patrick Hansen truly understands the power of potential.
Hansen, 20, who graduated magna cum laude from Lord Fairfax Community College's (LFCC) Fauquier Campus with an associate degree in arts and sciences in May 2007, now attends James Madison University (JMU). He is studying physics.
Hansen said he picked that particular branch of science because the field affords so many opportunities, including the ability to determine new ways to help improve the environment. It could also allow him to perhaps, one day, develop a safe and efficient energy source that could eliminate the need for battles regarding energy issues, he said.
Hansen is a multifaceted young man who decided to attend LFCC because it was cost-effective and convenient to his Amissville hometown. The College led him to a number of friends and provided a fun experience. It also had the study environment he wanted. "It's a pretty close-knit family," he said. While at LFCC, Hansen also earned a place in Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges.
His family has also been a key element in his success. He credits his parents, William and Sunee Hansen, for their help in keeping him energized. "They push me to do my best," said Hansen, who enjoys challenges. "I like to work hard and believe the harder you work, the better you get."
He knows the value of such work. He became an Eagle Scout at the age of 17 by assembling safety packets filled with information from local fire companies and police departments and then distributing them to his approximately 200-home neighborhood.
Hansen also enjoys pushing himself physically. He has been involved with karate for more than a decade and participated in karate tournaments with Team Excellence, based at Karate Sports Academy in Warrenton. Hansen has earned a black belt in Tang Soo Do. He plans to continue engaging in the martial arts while at JMU. "I can't see myself getting out of shape," he said.
Although he loves being busy and likes to get things done as soon as possible, he also likes to take time to just enjoy nature. In his free moments, he heads to the mountains and goes fishing and camping.
When asked what he would put on his own epitaph one day, Hansen offered up a positive statement that reflects his philosophy: "He really enjoyed life."