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Rachel Loftin

Careers in nursing are in high-demand, but it’s not often that you find a high school student gearing up for the healthcare field even before she graduates. But that’s exactly what Century High School student Rachel Loftin has done, and it’s just one of the reasons why she is this week’s United Dairymen of Idaho Distinguished Student Award Recipient.

But Loftin is not just a student, she’s an athlete, too.

You could call it a life-long love affair, because Loftin has been playing tennis since she was in Kindergarten. After a brief stint with soccer, the racquet whiz was back on the court in her sophomore year to play doubles for the Diamondbacks.

“I just enjoy tennis. I like being outside. It’s a lot more relaxed than a team sport,” Loftin said.

She helped take her team to states where the girls placed second overall in 4A. But Loftin’s not just serving up aces on the court, she’s scoring big points in the classroom, too.

“Well, I do my homework,” she said.

But with a 3.9 GPA, this girl makes it look as effortless as beating the boys.

“Basically doing homework and staying on top of my school work is how I keep my GPA up,” she said.

And if the guys end up with some big time bruises, Loftin can handle that, too. She’s a certified nurse’s assistant and has already worked in the field for six months.

“Being around people and being able to help people out and knowing that you’re helping them makes me feel good,” she said.

That’s a big part of why her coach, Sean Kane, nominated her.

“It was really neat to see a student involved in that and as well as athletics with a really, really high GPA,” Kane said.

Loftin has been accepted to Boise State University and will start this fall in the nursing program. And with all of her experience as a CNA, she doesn’t even sweat having to work with a little blood.

“When it’s on myself I don’t like it, but when I do it to other people, it doesn’t really bother me that much, because I know it’s going to help them,” Loftin said.

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