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posted: 12/6/2012 5:30 AM

Arlington Heights teen helps others abroad, excels at home

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  • Hersey High School student Alex Baratta shows some of the works of art he brought back from his volunteer work in Ghana and other travels.

       Hersey High School student Alex Baratta shows some of the works of art he brought back from his volunteer work in Ghana and other travels.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Hersey High School student Alex Baratta shows some of the works of art he brought back from his volunteer work in Ghana, where he is at top right, and other travels.

       Hersey High School student Alex Baratta shows some of the works of art he brought back from his volunteer work in Ghana, where he is at top right, and other travels.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Hersey High School student Alex Baratta talks about his travels and working with kids overseas.

       Hersey High School student Alex Baratta talks about his travels and working with kids overseas.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, goofs around with one of the children he taught during a volunteer trip to Ghana.

      Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, goofs around with one of the children he taught during a volunteer trip to Ghana.
    courtesy of the Baratta family

  • Alex Baratta, far right, and some of his Hersey High School classmates stand with the high-mileage vehicle they designed and built.

      Alex Baratta, far right, and some of his Hersey High School classmates stand with the high-mileage vehicle they designed and built.
    courtesy of the Baratta family

  • Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, takes part in a traditional drum ceremony during a volunteer trip to Ghana.

      Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, takes part in a traditional drum ceremony during a volunteer trip to Ghana.
    courtesy of the Baratta family

  • Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, taught in a classroom held up with sticks during a volunteer trip to Ghana.

      Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, taught in a classroom held up with sticks during a volunteer trip to Ghana.
    courtesy of the Baratta family

  • Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, got to experience life in Ghana during a volunteer trip.

      Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, got to experience life in Ghana during a volunteer trip.
    courtesy of the Baratta family

  • Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, plays with one of the children from Ghana during his volunteer trip.

      Hersey High School student Alex Baratta, 17, plays with one of the children from Ghana during his volunteer trip.
    courtesy of the Baratta family

 

Alex baratta could be nike's trademark slogan personified. if the hersey high school senior ever feels the weight of his full plate -- juggling three varsity sports, a perfect gpa, service trips abroad and robotic competitions at home can be a challenge -- the arlington heights teen tells himself to buckle down and "just do it." and do it well. "whenever i take something on, there's no backing out," alex, 17, says.

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