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Miss Citrus contestants talk about their interests, future

In an effort to let you know a little more about the young women participating in the Miss Citrus County Scholarship Pageant, we have asked each one a single question based on information in her biography.

ASHLEIGH COMMANDER, 18

Q: You plan to obtain a master's degree in theater and performing arts. What do you plan to do with this degree?

A: While I'm in college I would like to do theater work, but I'm leaning toward production. I'd like to do directing, and that's what I'm going to major in. I went to the college (UCLA Intensive Theater Institute Summer College) this (past) summer. That's when I decided that was what I really wanted to do.

STEPHANI FORMAN, 18

Q: You aspire to perform on Broadway. This is a difficult area to break into _ do you have what it takes?

A: I believe that with hard work and determination I can do it. If I don't give 110 percent, then NO. But I believe I have the determination and the will to work to make it.

REBEKAH GREGORY, 21

Q: One of your interests is Native American history. How did you get interested in it, and what has it taught you?

A: I got interested in it through friends who have Native American heritage. They had literature, photos and artifacts and that piqued my interest. The reason I respect the Native Americans so much is because they have faced so much degradation as a society and culture. Even though society came and tried to blend them into our European culture, they came out on top, and they kept their customs and traditions. And that allows them to know who they are.

SHANNA JOHNSON, 18

Q: You list composing music as a hobby. What type of music do you like most, and is that what you compose?

A: I consider myself a true musician. I like all types of music, some more than others. But I'm probably a bigger fan of rock 'n' roll and alternative music, just like mostteens. I used to just write lyrics for my journal, but I had friend who had band . . . and he sang a couple of my lyrics and it was a thrill hearing them.

ELLEN KING, 17

Q: You are a peer counselor. What seems to be the most common problem you deal with?

A: I have peer counseled grades 5, 3 and 2 and I'm currently doing first graders. The most common problem I see is that some of our children don't have the parent involvement that they need. I really think that parental involvement is important, and some parents just don't care; and that's really sad because education is so important. . . . Children are our future. Children that age are so vulnerable, and they need someone to be there for them to give them support.

JAMIE LOMBARDO, 17

Q: You list becoming a music producer or a child psychologist as aspirations. Explain.

A: I like children a lot and child psychology would be really interesting, but it would be too much schooling. Music is my passion. In recording arts I can get to deal with a variety of people; even children are making albums and it's not as much schooling. I attended a class at Full Sail Real World Education in Orlando, and it compresses three years of education (in recording arts) into 14 months.

AMANDA RUSSELL, 18

Q: You aspire to become a teacher. Knowing how poorly paid teachers are, why?

A: I want to become a teacher so I can hopefully educate the future leaders of our country and instill values in them that will make them lead with good moral standards and high ideals.

MELISSA TORRERO, 18

Q: You enjoy riding and training horses. How do those activities relate to everyday life?

A: What I get through training is dedication and patience. Patience is a big one. It helps in dealing with other people. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment and gives me confidence and a feeling that I pursue anything and do it. I also learned how to fall gracefully.

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