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Young Achiever: Greg Gurcak

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For his Eagle Scout project, Greg Gurcak, 16, of Whitehall is overseeing the production of 22 “ugly” sleeping bags for the homeless. The idea is to provide the homeless with sleeping bags that others won’t try to steal from them. He collected about 70 old blankets and a dozen used sleeping bags from his neighborhood and two churches and brought together about 30 people to sew the blankets into sleeping bags. The bags, some blankets that couldn’t be used for bags and some donated supplies will be given to Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s Operation Safety Net for distribution to the homeless.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
 

Age: 16

Family: Father, Joseph; Mother, Donna; sister, Gemma, 12

Residence: Whitehall

School: Junior at Central Catholic High School

Hobbies/Interests: Member of Boy Scout Troop 338 at North Zion Church; member of the Diocesan Youth Council; volunteers for the Whitehall Public Library's Technology Open House, where tech-savvy teens help others learn how to use and troubleshoot problems with their computers, smartphones and other devices.

Noteworthy: For his Eagle Scout project, Gurcak is overseeing the production of 22 “ugly” sleeping bags for the homeless. The idea is to provide the homeless with sleeping bags that others won't try to steal from them. He collected about 70 old blankets and a dozen used sleeping bags from his neighborhood and two churches and brought together about 30 people to sew the blankets into sleeping bags. The bags, some blankets that couldn't be used for bags and some donated supplies will be given to Pittsburgh Mercy Health System's Operation Safety Net for distribution to the homeless.

Quote: “I felt this was the best project to do — to give to the community and the people who need it the most.”

— Brian Bowling

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