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A Press Democrat Blog

Teen Life

News and opinion from local teens

Teen Face: Madison Bradshaw

By MARTIN ESPINOZA THE PRESS DEMOCRAT For high-achieving students as accomplished as Montgomery High School’s Madison Bradshaw, picking the right college means weighing a number of priorities, including campus prestige and academic rigor. But for Bradshaw, a 4.85 GPA student who is first in her class of 434, finding a campus near a horse stable was one of the most important requirements. “I’m going to take my horses to college with me,” the 18-year-old equestrian rider said. “All the schools… Read More »

Confident return to field follows concussion

By AMANDA KRALEY, 17, and KELSEY McCAFFREY, 16 MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL ‘‘I remember it happening, but after that, nothing. It’s like it never existed,” Maria Carrillo High junior Alex Wrenn said of the concussion he suffered last August. Wrenn, a nose tackle for Maria Carrillo’s varsity football team, was hit in the chin with the top of a football helmet during practice. “I know what happened, I remember getting hit,” he said. “But remembering it, I feel like it… Read More »

Teen Face: Austin Hay of Analy High

By KEVIN McCALLUM THE PRESS DEMOCRAT A few years ago, Austin Hay thought it would be cool to build himself a tree house. But then he got to thinking: Why put all that work into something he couldn’t take with him when he went off to college? Then he heard about a guy in Graton building fully functional miniature houses, and the answer became clear. Instead of building a house in a tree, he’d build one on a trailer, and… Read More »

Teen Face: Matthew Mulligan

By KERRY BENEFIELD THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Piner High School track and cross country coach Luis Rosales said there may be more gifted runners out there, but there are not a whole lot of athletes who work harder than senior Matthew Mulligan. “People look at him. He has gotten where he is because he just works his butt off,” Rosales said. “If I told the kids to run 50 miles, 55 miles, then he would run 65, 70 miles all on… Read More »

Teen Face: Brooke Cichosz

By BRETT WILKISON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Brooke Cichosz has core beliefs and interests that propel her through busy days in her senior year at Maria Carrillo High School. The Santa Rosa 17-year-old is keen on the craft of storytelling and has pursued that art through a full schedule of speech and theater projects. She is a regular entrant in school speech events and has acted in and directed stage productions since she was a freshman. Next month, for the second… Read More »

Teen Face: Holley Maassen of Piner High

By DEREK MOORE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Holley Maassen’s dream is to become a forensic pathologist and unravel the mysteries of how a person died. It’s an interesting goal, given that the 17-year-old Piner High School senior describes herself as a sunny person who enjoys nothing more than being around other (live) people. It’s also noteworthy given the teen’s experience with her father’s untimely death. Kim Maassen took his own life in 2010 when Holley was just a freshman. Wouldn’t she… 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 »

Why they chose the military

By ADAM SILOW MARIA CARRILLO HIGH SCHOOL Becoming a Navy SEAL is an aspiration that not many Americans dare to have and even fewer are able to attain. However, for Ryder DeSalvo, 18, of Santa Rosa, this has been a goal long in the making and one that he believes is within his ability to accomplish. “Since middle school it’s been a life dream of mine, and I just can’t wait to get there,” DeSalvo said. DeSalvo graduated in May… Read More »

Teen Face: Daniel Rosenthal

By CLARK MASON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Daniel Rosenthal performed his first professional magic show at a birthday party when he was 5 years old. By the age of 8, he was doing shows at hospitals, including performing for chemotherapy patients at Santa Rosa Kaiser, where his father works as director of occupational and physical medicine. Daniel was shocked by the number of sick and sad patients, but struck by how his act changed the mood. “After the show, one of… Read More »

Teen Face: Katie Rettig

By GUY KOVNER THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Ballet and acting proved the ideal preparation for Katie Rettig’s two-year turn as a cheerleader at Cardinal Newman High School. “I love performing,” said Rettig, who was cheerleading captain her senior year and graduated in May, a day after she turned 18. “I like being able to put myself out there.” But Rettig, who lives along the Russian River on Healdsburg’s Fitch Mountain, got more out of cheerleading than rooting for the Newman boys’… Read More »