From Staff Reports

Tanner Keck, 17, a junior at Grainger High School, likes architecture and engineering because it correlates with his interests.

His parents are Tommy and Barbie Keck of Bean Station.

His favorite musician is George Strait, favorite movie is “The Green Mile,” favorite TV show is “The Americans,” and favorite book is “The Hunt for Red October.”

Tanner is a life scout in the Boy Scouts of America and is making the Eagle Scout rank by building a wooden pavilion at First United Methodist Church in Morristown.

In his spare time, Tanner likes to go hiking, camping and whitewater rafting. He loves to travel across the U.S. and experience life in other cities. He is also an avid photographer.

If he won a million dollars, he would use it to pay for his future college education. He would also donate parts of it to church and the National Park Foundation and save the rest for future expenses.

Tanner plans to attend community college for two years before attending the University of Tennessee to major in architecture/construction. “I’m considering becoming an architect or something in construction. I like to design buildings and be on the job site,” he wrote.

Tanner’s father is his role model. “He is hardworking, trustworthy, fun, and giving. He’s showed me many life lessons from cooking to first aid. He’s taught me many outdoor skills, such as hiking and cooking,” he wrote.

He has overcome being overweight. “I also have developed more social skills. I suffered from social anxiety during my childhood. These things have given appreciation for each person’s differences.”

He sees abuse of technology as being among the greatest challenges facing young people today. “Social media and earning by working and contributing to society. We can overcome these by being respectful of others, unplugging electronic devices, and acknowledge that things in life are not free. If you want something, get a job and earn the money to pay for it,” he wrote.

San Diego, Calif. is the most interesting place Tanner has visited. “Its architecture, culture, history, people, food and overall atmosphere makes it so fascinating.”

If Tanner could change anything about school, it would be food. “Years ago, I enjoyed school lunch, but in the past five years, the quality and choices of lunches have declined. Nutritious food can taste good,” he said.

Sharing advice to underclassmen, Tanner said to respect others’ differences and opinions. He suggests using the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you like to be treated.”

The greatest challenge facing America today, according to Tanner, is drug abuse. “It’s a major concern in America today. It destroys families. I would lobby for stricter laws on prescription drugs and for tougher laws for illegal sales of drugs,” he wrote.

The most exciting moment in Tanner’s life was whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River. “It was very intense and breathtaking to me. It’s a whirlwind of emotions. My friends being there is what made it special to be a part of.”