Clarissa Castro – 18 - California Interview by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination by Mayra Castro Main Photography by Stacy Jacob Photography Issue 19 Inspiring Teens Magazine | Volunteer
The Nomination: Clarissa Castro is an Ambassador for the Ophelia Project, a woman support program and for the Coachella Valley Missionary Program where confused teens need a wise guide in rough times. She also was on the varsity tennis team for three years, in the medical program at her school, and coordinated an event.
Image taken by a friend
Tell me about your duties as an Ambassador for the Ophelia Project. My duties as an Ambassador for the Ophelia Project include time. I volunteer at places such as Martha's Village, Senior Centers, Coachella Valley Horse rescue mission, etc. These events usually take place on weekends or weekdays after school. We have meetings throughout the year to attend at our main office. I also will be giving a public speech at our 2019 Ophelia Luncheon.
Tell us about “Dancing in light with the Angels”, and what it has to do with mass shootings? I coordinated an event at my school called “Dancing in light with the Angels”, The reason behind it was to show other communities that together we are a whole. Also, to remember the lives we have lost in mass shootings around the country. During the event I read a speech written by me that goes into more detail on why we need to stand together as one always. In the middle of the event, above the crowd 50+ beautiful white doves flew making a figure of an angel. We took it as a sign that our loved ones were watching over us. It was said that the event was very “peaceful and therapeutic “.
How did your career in tennis begin? My career in tennis began when my dad constantly pushed my siblings and I to be better, and to go after the opportunities he never had so we would not struggle as he did in life. Finding the right sport was very difficult, but my sophomore year I tried something new - Tennis. Tennis gave me a home and let me open up to such amazing people. I left for two months in the summer of 2018 for the very first time ever for Independent Training and where I learned how to coach others. Why do you think you are so inspiring? I believe that everyone is inspiring in their very own unique ways. I am convinced that I’m a miracle baby. Being born at only 6 months gestation and weighing a little over 2 pounds, doctors made no promise of me surviving to my parents. Yet I fought for my life, independently breathing on my own without assistance only three minutes after coming to this world. The doctors told my parents they’ve never seen a baby this small pulling off their oxygen mask and that I was one of a kind. I am living on my second chance to give back to the world and to be the change we wish to see.
Image taken by her mom
What are your plans for the future? My plans are to attend college and achieve my degree in Kinesiology to be doctor for Physical therapy. After I obtain my degree, I wish to live temporarily in Africa by teaching those what I know and helping on my free time by building houses, schools, and churches.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? I am an ambassador for the Coachella Valley Missionary Program. Here we help teens see a better way to live life.
Clarissa will be featured in issue 19 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!
Alexis Candelaria – 18 - California Interview by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination by Christina Garza Main Photography by Stacy Jacob Photography Issue 19 Inspiring Teens Magazine | Leader
The Nomination: Alexis Candelaria is a senior at Shadow Hills High School. She is active on the varsity cheer team, has logged over 250 volunteer hours, is involved in the Young Women Leaders program and spends her free time as an intern at a local preschool. She is a natural leader with a big heart and a love for children which has inspired her to pursue a career in teaching. Alexis is a wonderful role model who demonstrates great pride and care in the opportunity to profoundly impact the lives of children and future generations. She is very driven in the pursuit of success, not just her own but for those around her. For these reasons and more, it is my pleasure to nominate Alexis for this amazing opportunity!
How did your career in cheerleading begin? My career in Cheerleading began my freshman year in high school. I’ve had an amazing time on the cheer squad and the experience has taught me about teamwork and dependability, plus it’s allowed me to form strong friendships. Prior to cheerleading I was a dancer for 9 years. I’ve enjoyed Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and Salsa Dancing.
Tell me about some of your volunteering opportunities. I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer for the American Cancer Society assisting with the setup of cancer walks and I’ve also logged several hours of volunteer work as a teacher’s aide at a local preschool assisting with reading, facilitating games, and organizing fundraisers.
What is your involvement in the Young Women Leaders Program? I attend The Young Women Leaders (YWL) program which helps equip future women leaders with essential and invaluable resources as we enter college and into the professional world. My goal is to someday become an ambassador for the program and mentor other young women.
Why did you want to pursue a career in teaching? I decided to pursue a teaching career because of my love of children and my eagerness to make a difference. I’ve also been very fortunate to have an amazing teacher named Heidi Knigge. She is one of the major reasons I’m pursuing a teaching career. Ms. Knigge has been a positive leader and mentor in my life, and I will aspire to bring the same passion for learning to my own classroom. She is someone I will admire and look back on fondly long after I’ve completed my high school education.
Image taken by friend, Jake Abawag
What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future are to continue my education at California Baptist University to pursue my teaching career, continue my travels around the world and enjoy every day I’m blessed with.
Alexis will be featured in Issue 19 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!
Phoebe Berry -17 - California Interview by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination by Angelina Valdez Photography by Stacy Jacob Photography Issue 19 Inspiring Teens Magazine | Athlete
The Nomination: Phoebe Berry is a Varsity cheerleader and an honor roll student. She interns at a local grade school to stay young at heart. She also has a part time job as a hostess where she greets the valley with her warm welcoming smile. When a normal person would be tired, she perseveres and always gives her all.
How did your career in cheerleading start? I started cheerleading my sophomore year, I had multiple friends in it, and I thought that it would be a fun sport to try.
What are some ways you keep yourself organized with cheer, school and your home life? I keep myself organized by managing my time so I can make sure I have enough time to do my work, go to practice, have a social life, and spend time with my family. I always prioritize school though.
Image by Angelina Valdez (Mom)
Where do you work and what is your favorite part about your job? I work at Stuft Pizza Bar and Grill. I love the people I work with we get along very well and do our work but still have fun with each other.
Tell us how you stay so dedicated to succeeding. I stay dedicated to succeeding by knowing what I generally want in life and doing everything I can possibly do to achieve that.
Image by Yolanda Gibson (Nana/Grandma)
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Five years from now I see myself in law school on my way to becoming a lawyer.
Phoebe will be featured in Issue 19 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!