No Slowing This Upcoming High School Grad Down

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This Payson High School senior's resume reads like a wish list of experiences.

The question is how did Hanna Palandri, 18, pack so many experiences into just a few years?

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"I give all the credit to God," she said.

Palandri will graduate in late May with a class ranking of 10 out of 152 students and a 3.98 grade point average.

She has been an official teen court attorney, raised hogs and cattle with the Future Farmers of America, is currently a certified nurses assistant at Payson Regional Medical Center, has gone through the NAVIT program at Payson High School to earn college credit, and has been offered tuition waivers, scholarship, etc...etc...etc.

Oh yeah, she's also a second basemen on the Lady Longhorns softball team.

After graduation Palandri is headed to Arizona State University to become a traveling registry nurse.

She has been awarded not one, but three scholarships totaling about $10,000 a year for four years.

Her goal is to provide medical services to U.S. overseas military personnel as a civilian nurse, she said.

"I want to be able to give something back to our service members for all they do for us," she said.

One of the main reasons she wants to do that is her brother, Dominic, served in Iraq as a member of the U.S. Navy between 2000 and 2005.

Palandri also has two sisters, Jenna, 22, who works at a local hair salon, and Amanda, 21, who is a substitute teacher at Julia Randall Elementary School.

She said that with the support of her family and the financial help the scholarships will give her she hopes to accomplish her nursing goal.

The three scholarships include a four-year Presidential Scholarship in the amount of $9,000, another one for $600 from the Mogollon Health Alliance and an unspecified amount from the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Despite all her good fortune and success in academics, Palandri gives the credit for her accomplishments to someone else.

She said her Christian beliefs helped guide her in life and to her chosen profession.

Palandri said she is the first member of her family to attend college and in August she will move to the downtown ASU campus.

She said one of the first things she will do is have a marathon television watching session.

"I've been without cable television since I was four years old, so I think I want to sit down and spend just one full day, 24 hours, watching ‘I Love Lucy,'" she said.

How in the world did a girl just under five and a half feet tall weighing not more than 110 pounds do so much before she even hit the 20 year mark?

It's her life view, she said.

"Life is what you make of it, life's fun," said Palandri.

She said her father, Vince Palandri, played a key role in her work and life views.

"He always told me to never give up, never stop doing something just because it gets hard," Palandri said.

She said that while she is anxious to set out on her own and make a life for herself, she is going to miss Payson and her parents.

"One of my happiest memories will always be a hunting trip I went on with my dad here in the Rim Country," she said.

"I will always carry that with me."

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