In Connecticut, 50.9 percent of teens interviewed admitted to texting and/or emailing while driving, according to the 2011 school health survey. And about 53 percent of teen drivers admitted to talking on their cell phones while driving, the survey conducted by the state Department of Public Health showed. Connecticut’s numbers are above the national average, according to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reported that just under 45 percent of teens nationally admitted to texting while driving and 46 percent said that they talked on their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. Connecticut law prohibits drivers from talking or texting on handheld cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. A University of Connecticut student, who identified himself as Chris, admitted to talking on his cellphone while driving, but never texting. But, Chris said that he has seen lots of teenagers texting while driving. “It’s a little too much,’’ he added.
Courtney Leopold, 16, of New Canaan, wants to be a TV reporter. Not only is she executive producer of her TV class, but she is also class anchor for her senior class. She describes herself as a “closet TV geek.”
She wants to be a TV reporter because she wants to see the world and believes being a reporter “is the best way.”
She has had experience directing, from her school’s morning announcements to her school plays. “I want to be just like Ryan Seacrest. That’s my dream,’’ Leopold said.
From seeing the “white flurries” of snow for the first time at age eight to wearing a coat in the dead of summer, Shamoya Hanson has had to adjust to live in Hartford after moving here from Jamaica. “I used to wear really long dresses when I first came here, and I’d wear jackets and people would like, “yeah, she’s not from here,’’ Shamoya, 15, said. Shamoya, a junior at the Hartford Journalism and Media Academy, dreams of being an actress on television. Her idol is Reese Witherspoon. She is an avid shopper whose favorite stores are XSRE and Forever 21.