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Young Achiever: Kate Tanski

Tom Fontaine
| Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009

Age : 17

Residence : Hampton

Family : Parents Sharon and Ted Tanski; brothers T.C., 23, and Chris, 21.

Hobbies/interests: Volunteering, reading, taking evening courses at the Community College of Allegheny County.

Awards/honors: Kate, a senior at Hampton High School, was a member of a team that won top honors last school year in a bridge design competition sponsored by the Westinghouse Science Honors Institute. Her team's bridge, made with 100 Popsicle sticks and two bottles of Super Glue, was able to sustain a weight of 410 pounds.

Notable : Kate, who wants to be a registered nurse, has volunteered more than 450 hours at UPMC St. Margaret during the last three years. She has worked in various roles, from staffing surgical waiting rooms and helping with admissions, to transporting patients to and from physical therapy and training new volunteers. Kate in recent years has also served as a caregiver for her father, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease when she was in fourth grade.

Quote : "Ever since my dad got sick, (becoming a nurse) has kind of just been my calling. It's my whole life, and I'm good at it. I can't imagine doing anything else."

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