The Teen Scene
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Rachel Groh, 19, of Purchase, is a sophomore at Dartmouth.
Interest: Volunteerism/Activism. Through her participation in the Tucker Foundation, Dartmouth’s student community-service organization, Rachel is involved in a number of volunteer projects. She works with the Prison Project (programs for inmates at a local prison), Book Buddies (reads with a second-grade “buddy”), and she bowls with Special Olympics athletes. Rachel also organizes events with the Generations Project (with local senior citizens) and participates in North Country Weekend (which encourages inner-city kids from Boston to attend college). When she was in high school, Rachel was very involved with the Port Chester Carver Center, and she still volunteers there when she is home from college.
What do you like most about being a volunteer? I enjoy the people I get to meet—people I’d never get to meet or understand otherwise. For instance, I volunteer at a prison and getting to know inmates is something I’d never get to do outside of this situation.
What are the biggest challenges in being a volunteer? Sometimes the people you want to interact with don’t want to interact with you—that can be discouraging. But that only makes the rewards so much bigger when you do break through.
If you could change one thing about adults, what would it be? This isn’t with all adults, but sometimes they think that just because a younger person comes up with an idea there’s something wrong with it.
What teen fashion look do you despise? Crocs.
What superstar do you like and why? Amanda Bynes. She seems down-to-earth, has kept out of the tabloids, and lives responsibly even though she has money and fame.
What reality show would you want to be on? The Amazing Race. It’s my dream to travel the world while doing exciting and challenging activities.
What’s your worst habit? Late-night snacking.
Is the girl “drama” different in college than it was in high school? Yes, very. Maturity makes a big difference. Issues that would have been huge in high school don’t matter in college.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I’d really like to be in the Peace Corps or Teach for America between college and graduate school.
[The Miss All Around]
Mayra Pesantez is a 17-year-old senior at Port Chester High School.
Interest: Mayra is president of the junior class, president of Lions United, and active on the Westchester County Youth Committee, Yearbook Committee, volleyball team, softball
team, and community service club. She also works two jobs (as a lifeguard and at a store).
Have you ever been in a serious relationship? No.
Do kids at your school date? Too many. You can’t go down the hall without seeing couples kissing or fighting or hugging or talking. A lot of girls at my school are pregnant.
Is there a lot of partying at your high school? Yes. There are parties every Friday night at people’s houses or people go to clubs.
A lot of drinking and drugs? Yes.
What would you ask President Obama to change about our country? I’d ask him to make abortion illegal.
What do you want to be when you grow up? An accountant, because I really love math, and it seems like a cool job.
If you could change one thing about adults, what would it be? For them to remember how hard it was in high school.
What are you most thankful for? My mom.
What teen superstar do you like? Adrienne Bailon from the Cheetah Girls, because she’s a good role model. Even though there were rumors about her that there were naked pictures of her, she’s moved on.
What’s your favorite shop? Joyce Leslie in Port Chester.
Do girls in your school wear a lot of makeup? Yes. I don’t wear a lot because I don’t like it. When you take it off, you don’t look the same. There’s no point to it.
What are the boys at your school mostly into? Besides girls, sports.
And the girls? Boys or clothing.
[The Black Belt]
Sabine Williams, a 16-year-old junior at the French-American School of New York, lives in Hartsdale.
Interest: Shotokan Karate. Sabine is a black belt in the Shotokan style. She has competed in and won several tournaments and attends the Horie Karate Dojo in Hartsdale at least twice a week.
When and how did you become interested in karate? According to my mom, when I was four-and-a-half, I saw it on Sesame Street and I wanted to do it. So she let me.
Do you have a boyfriend? No. Boys complicate life.
Do kids at your school date? There’s really no opportunity. Our school is so small—there are only thirty-six kids in my grade.
How much drinking goes on in your school? It’s not a big problem.
Do girls in your school wear a lot of makeup? No.
What’s your favorite shop? Forever 21.
What teen fashion look do you despise? Uggs with summer skirts.
What teen superstar do you dislike? Miley Cyrus, because she seems really fake.
What’s your favorite TV show? Scrubs.
Is there a “mean girls” thing going on in your school? There used to be, but then they all left.
If you could get a professional makeover on any part of your life, what would it be? My house because I’d like to have my own room. I share with my ten-year-old sister.
If you could trade places with anyone in the world for one day, who would it be? Nelson Mandela.
Whom do you admire most and why? My mom, because she just finished law school.
What magazines do you read regularly? I like Seventeen. It’s not all fashion and telling you to to be all skinny.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Westchester? I feel safe.