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A Press Democrat Blog

Teen Life

News and opinion from local teens

Teen Life: Zeltzin Campillo of Windsor High

By MARY CALLAHAN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT It was barely more than five years ago that Zeltzin Campillo, then a shy middle-schooler, moved to the United States knowing no one beyond her immediate family and speaking little English. Now an outgoing Windsor High School junior whose debate-team experience and interest in public service have her contemplating a career in the law and, maybe, running for public office one day, Campillo said she considers herself American despite so many years living just… Read More »

Teen Face: Rose Hammock

By JULIE JOHNSON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Rose Hammock is a natural leader. The sway of the 16-year-old junior at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa comes in the form of a slew of unabashed questions for teachers and speakers. And it shows in how Hammock is often seen sitting with the most timid students, teacher Brian Farrell said. “She has guts,” said Farrell, who led Hammock in a college prep program last year. “Her curiosity is conspicuous.” Hammock is… Read More »

Teen Face: Zena Hinds

By MARTIN ESPINOZA THE PRESS DEMOCRAT At New York University, Zena Hinds of Petaluma has Greenwich Village as a campus — an ideal habitat for a young artist who who dreams of one day performing on Broadway. Hinds, 18, graduated from Sonoma Academy and is now studying music and theater at NYU. She’s been singing and dancing since she was 6 and she knows success on the stage takes a lot of hard work. Although once a shy kid, she… Read More »

Teen Face: Amanda M. Hauth

By BOB NORBERG THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Amanda M. Hauth remembers when golf for her was making sand angels in the bunkers, while now it is celebrating the rare hole-in-one and anchoring her high school team. In the Windsor High School senior’s future, golf may lead to a college scholarship and, just maybe, playing golf professionally. “I want to see where college takes me. I plan on doing really good in college, but if that is an option, I would take… Read More »

Teen Face: Shah Baig

By RANDI ROSSMANN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Shahalam Baig, 18, a recent graduate of Technology High School in Rohnert Park, gets queasy around blood. Still interested in medical issues, he’d like to build instruments to help doctors. “I don’t want to have to look at blood,” said Baig, who plans to major in biomedical engineering. “. . . creating devices is what I really would like to do.” He’s already got one device he can list on his résumé. Seniors at… Read More »

SRHS Cross

By TREVOR GREENAN THE SANTA ROSAN On August 26, the students of the Santa Rosa High School Cross Country team met at Julliard Park at the crack of dawn to volunteer for the Santa Rosa Marathon. About 45 orange-and-black-clad students and 20 parents directed, provided water for, and cheered on the approximately 1,900 participants of the 5K, Half-Marathon, and Marathon. Upon arrival, the students were separated into water station and 5K groups. In a very Cross Country Camp-esque arrangement, the… Read More »

Teen Face: Jasmine Jolly

By KEVIN McCALLUM THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Jasmine Jolly is totally jazzed. The 14-year-old eighth-grader at Santa Rosa Charter School just wrapped up a summer highlighted by an epic bike trip in Oregon with her family. Over two weeks, Jasmine, her mother, Amy, father, Paul, and younger sister, Solana, covered 400 miles of some of the most gorgeous scenery in the nation. Packing all their gear on their bikes, the family struck west from Portland to Astoria, then headed south along… Read More »

Teen Life: Rashad Butler

By MARY CALLAHAN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Rashad Butler, seated in the front, was assigned to take the photos when he and his dad took a helicopter tour of New York City a few years back. But not a single frame was shot — because, says his dad, Butler was too fascinated with the pilot and his handling of the aircraft to take any pictures. It was an early indication of a growing interest in aviation that would send the recent… Read More »

Teen Face: Jesse Fichman of El Molino High

By KERRY BENEFIELD THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Incoming El Molino High School senior Jesse Fichman is a multitalented guy. An excellent student whose grade point average hovers around the 4.0 mark, Fichman also plays basketball, volleyball and soccer for the Lions. But Fichman’s true passion is music and nature. A guitarist for the bluegrass band The Mighty Chiplings, Fichman and his bandmates can be seen on local stages jamming to songs made famous by the likes of Doc Watson. A stellar… Read More »

Teen Face: Willa Mei Kurland

By GLENDA ANDERSON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT The summer before Willa Kurland started kindergarten, she decided she wanted to read and write. With quiet determination, she notified her parents, who helped her accomplish her goal. “It was pretty cute. She has always been extremely bright,” said Tashe Kurland, one of Willa’s mothers who adopted her from China when she was 2. Willa continued to exhibit that early determination, and it has paid off. The 17-year-old Ukiah High School graduate is headed… Read More »