Tanya Foster is the Evening Anchor for CBS 21 News. She moved to Central PA in January of 2008 by way of Texas.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Texas State University in San Marcos. While at CBS 21, Tanya was honored with Emmy Awards for Outstanding Human Interest News Feature for her report “Images of Bravery” and Outstanding Newscast Evening Anchor. She also received 1st Place from the Pennsylvania AP Broadcasters Association for “Images of Bravery”. Prior to CBS 21, Tanya worked at the ABC affiliate in Waco, Texas and the CBS affiliate in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Tanya is active in the community. She has worked with the Center for Independent Living in Central PA as their spokesperson. She is also very active in raising awareness of animal abuse and neglect. She has done extensive work with animal shelters in Texas and currently partners with Central PA rescues and shelters to highlight their efforts through news stories.
Tanya is an 8th generation Texan and along with her husband Ben and four rescue dogs Dixie, Daisy, Dora and Sammy, they enjoy traveling in their RV, spending time with their Texas-sized family and their church – Bible Baptist Church of York. Tanya is an avid Christian, reader, writer, sewer and BBQ eater!
Q: Have you always known you would be a news anchor? What brought you to this career path?
TF: I did. When I was a little girl my family would watch the 6 o’clock news after dinner each night. I remember thinking it was the most amazing job. Years later in high school, as part of a junior class project, we had to reach out to a person doing the job we wanted to have. I sent a letter (yes, this was before email!) to Bill Balleza, the main anchor at KPRC in Houston. He promptly responded and invited me to the station for a visit. Fast forward to now, we remain good friends. He mentored me every step of the way. I owe my career to him.
Q: You are fluent in sign language. How has this skill changed the way you listen and interact with others? What do people need to know about the deaf community?
TF: I’m not nearly as fluent as I’d like to be, although I can get by. I started learning American Sign Language in preschool. My mother was diagnosed with an inner ear disease and her prognosis was eventual complete hearing loss. Over the years I’ve learned quite a bit about acceptance. I’ve seen the hardships my mom has faced, specifically with people who aren’t “tolerant” of her inability to hear. Because of her experiences, I make it a point to understand who the person is when interacting with someone; put myself in their shoes, so to speak.
It’s easy to get accustomed to life as we see it through our own eyes, but what a sight to see when you step into someone else’s shoes! It brings the level of understanding and communication to a whole new level!
Q: I saw that you have been involved with the Center for Independent Living, Junior Achievement. What message do you have for people finding their way in their lives and in the world?
TF: I’ve met the most amazing people through the Center for Independent Living of Central PA (CILCP). The message I’ve learned from them? Anything is possible. Never give up. When someone says you can’t, you better believe you can!
Q: What is your favorite book – or if that’s too tough, a list of two or three that are indispensable to you?
TF: This is a tough one! I’d have to say, my favorite book is The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I had the pleasure of meeting her years after reading her novel and her persona is just as charismatic as her writing. A close second and third would be I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn respectively. I’m a self-admitted book geek!
Q: As an owner of three dogs and a volunteer with animal shelters, what do animals have to teach us about life?
TF: Oh my goodness, where do I begin?! I’ve seen some horrific cases of animal abuse both in my personal life and career and it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly resilient dogs are. Their love known no limits, their forgiveness is eye-opening and their ability to find happiness in any situation is contagious. My favorite quote that sums it up: “I wish I could be the person my dog thinks I am.”