At a time when high school students across Connecticut are scrambling to find work and community service opportunities to put on their resumes, Susana Herrera, 16, of Norwalk, has already spent most of her high school career serving her hometown. Herrera, a junior at Norwalk High, has been active in the school’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) program and BROWN, another organization that serves Norwalk. “FBLA is about helping people,” Herrera said. “We do things like read to little kids.”
BROWN, which the schools run with the YMCA, has similar goals. As a member of BROWN, Herrera has participated in local fundraisers and spent time picking up trash in her city.
When Arianna Vernon moved to the United States from Jamaica when she has 12 years old, she had never seen snow. “The first time I had seen snow was really weird,’’ she said. “I was 12 and all I wanted to do was play, and now I hate it.”
Vernon had gone to a private school in Jamaica, and before she moved to Hartford, she had lived in Brooklyn, NY for two years. She now attends the Journalism and Media Academy at Weaver High School and lives with her cousin, Nyandah Robinson. Vernon, 16, is going to be a junior, plays volleyball at school and has received many honors, including making the honor roll numerous times.
It is late into the night and Keylee Scott is busy looking up the latest entertainment news. “I get no sleep sometimes because I feel like I might mission something,’’ said Scott, who will be a sophomore this fall at the Journalism and Media Academy at Weaver High School in Hartford. Scott dreams big. “I want to be on TV,’’ she said with conviction. “Whatever I do.”
Her ideal way of being on TV is as an actress where she can use her uncanny ability to cry on cue, a skill which she has used on occasion to fool her friends.
With all of the physical and emotional changes during teenage years, teens are often unsure what profession they want to do for the rest of their lives. But not Julia Gottier. She has decided on a career choice because “the way to get people to listen to you is to become an education journalist,” Gottier, 18, of Tolland, said. She recently graduated from Tolland High School and said her personal goals are to have “a stable career, getting married and having a kid.”
At her high school, Gottier was a National Merit Commended Student and took honors in science and honors in English. She volunteered at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum as an intern giving tours.
When Cardel Ferreira moved to Hartford in January, he was not coming from another state – he was coming to the United States for the first time from the South American nation of Guyana. Ferreira and his twin brother, Cassel, came to America with their mother, Simone Prescott. The twins get along very well. “It’s nice to know that I have someone with me,’’ Cardel Ferreira said. Both his twin and their 24-year-old half brother, Joseph Prescott, want to be pilots.
When Malcolm Sharpe was 14, he came to the U.S. from Jamaica and was amazed that you can touch a dog here.“
The biggest difference between Jamaica and Hartford is that you can actually touch the dogs here,’’ Malcolm said. “Never touch a dog in Jamaica.”
You see, in Jamaica, the dogs are vicious and they attack easily. They are trained to attack and to not be the sweet dogs that are in the U.S., Malcolm said. Malcolm is a sophomore at the Journalism and Media Academy at Weaver High School in Hartford. He was born and raised in Jamaica and came to Hartford a year ago.
Rob McCarthy grew up on a basketball court. He has been playing the sport since he was four. He plays shooting guard for Cazenovia High School in New York state, where he averages 12 points per game and was named Most Valuable Player last season. “Sometimes it’s intimidating when some kids you play against are taller than you,’’ said McCarthy, who is 5-foot-10 inches. Off the court, he likes watching his favorite player, Ray Allen, who played for the Boston Celtics and has won a championship.
If you’re looking for Ross Krasner, you can most likely find him on a golf course. That’s because when Krasner isn’t playing golf, he’s working at the Cedar Ridge golf course in East Lyme. “I want to be the top, best golfer in my school,’’ he said. Krasner, 16, is on the golf team at East Lyme High School and has a 15 handicap. He didn’t start playing he was in the 8th grade.
ByZanira Abubakar, Ana Lucia Galarza and Alex Garcia |
During his years in the exercise industry, gym owner Peter Gianakos has seen his share of mishaps around treadmills. He’s seen a youth slip on a treadmill and an older man fall when a screw on the man’s prosthetic leg came loose while he was running. Another time, a large yoga ball struck a treadmill, causing it to stop abruptly. For safety reasons, Gianakos, the owner of G’s Fitness and Nutrition in Waterford, said nearly all of his customers use personal trainers. “We shifted to this model because it is safer for the clients since all personal training is supervised,’’ he said.
Nationally, the number of basketball injuries rose close to 10 percent between 2007 and 2010, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which some experts attribute to the fast pace of the game. The database, maintained by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Council, recorded a jump in those years from 481,011 to 528,584 injuries due to basketball. Some experts said the rise is also due in part to an increase in the popularity of basketball as well as an increase in awareness about preventing and treating injuries. “The numbers are not going up as much as you think. The awareness of injuries and sports medicines has gone up tremendously, and we are trying to keep players in as best shape as possible” said James W. Doran Jr., an assistant trainer at the University of Connecticut who treats its men’s basketball players.