Bremerton Kid Credits Bremerton

Bremerton kid Tara Kirk gets a high five from fellow Bremerton kid Kirsten Brandner

Tara Kirk, Bremerton High School and Stanford graduate (I hear she also swims.) came back home last week to deliver $12,500 in scholarship money for BHS grads. Apparently she didn’t know how revered she and her sister, Dana, are. From Annette Griffus’ story:

Tara Kirk loves her hometown and high school, she just wasn’t sure if the feeling was reciprocated.

The Olympic silver medalist and national champion found out how much she means to Bremerton last week when she was the recipient of a rowdy standing ovation during a homecoming pep assembly last Thursday at the high school.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever got a reception that awesome and I was just so impressed and excited to count myself as part of that fraternity,” Kirk said. “I was a Bremerton High grad, just like these guys will be. I can’t even put into words how much it meant to me.”

According to John Hickey’s story in the Seattle P-I, when Tara Kirk interviewed in her bid to be a Rhodes scholar (she didn’t get the scholarship), she was advised to get out of the swimming game (She won an Olympic silver medal as part of a U.S. relay team in Greece.):

. . . she said her interviewer told her she was one of those people who could change the world. It was suggested she give up swimming and get into the world-changing gig as soon as possible.

That’s when she had a talk with Donald Kennedy, president emeritus of Stanford and editor-in-chief of Science magazine.

He told her to ignore the earlier advice.

“He told me that I needed to take the opportunity I had while my body could still do this,” Kirk said. “He said there would be time for everything else later. So I swim now to make it worth it.”

Stanford grad. Olympic swimmer. Just missed on the Rhodes scholarship. World Changer. Tara Kirk gives a lot of the credit to her hometown. From Jesse Hammond’s story on

When I think about my roots, where I came from, and how I came to be the person that I am today I think about my hometown– Bremerton. I’m proud of how I turned out and I think that Bremerton had a lot to do with that.

Kind of makes you want to raise your kids here, doesn’t it.

One thought on “Bremerton Kid Credits Bremerton

  1. What a gracious girl… but even more than her hometown of Bremerton … she might have been influenced by her parents to some degree….most certainly she had mentors.

    Of the students in her Bremerton graduating class, what percent went on to collage?

    Name her teachers through high school, will you? At least one of her teachers –maybe more — fired the spark for Stanford…at least one sparked her desire to learn.

    Rather than a ‘town’… I’d like to thank her teachers…the good ones must have influenced other students as well to be the best they can be and to never stop learning.

    How did she come to be “the person I am today?”

    Tara Kirk has just started her life of accomplishment …may she have a lifetime of learning and being a mentor to others.
    Her home town is proud of her…
    Sharon O’Hara

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