Originally created 09/14/99

Teen board members ready for work



Introducing the 1999-2000 Xtreme Teen Board:

Nickles Badger, 15 Sophomore, Augusta Preparatory Day School

Nickles is an outdoorsman who spends his free time fly-fishing, rowing and hiking. He has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

And he wants to be a "smoke jumper."

"It's what firefighters out West do when there are those huge forest fires," he said.

Nickles is a Boy Scout and a member of the Red Cross Youth Board.

Emili Ballweg, 15 Sophomore, Aquinas High School

If you see someone para-sailing over Lake Thurmond, it just may be Emili. She has also floated over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal.

On land, she plays soccer at school and with the Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club.

"I've played soccer since I was 5 years old, long before it became a popular sport for girls in Augusta," she wrote on her application.

She's an aspiring TV news anchor -- a fact we hope will change after her Xtreme experience. (Just kidding.)

Elizabeth Barron, 15 Sophomore, Harlem High School

Elizabeth uses the alias "Thalas," which is derived from the Greek word thalassa, or sea.

Elizabeth likes to read fantasy and loves to be online -- either surfing the Internet or chatting or creating Web pages.

She admires her mom's hobby of weaving little balls from grape vines. Candles are placed in the middle and they're hung up outside. She described them as:

"Balls of light, hanging in midair in the blackness of night. They're all over our yard."

Jessica Birt, 16 Junior, Barnwell High School

Jessica hails from Williston, S.C., about 35 minutes from Augusta. She's the only South Carolinian on the board.

Jessica also is a soccer player and is in band. She wants to be a biologist or a journalist.

The toughest thing about being a teen-ager is standing up to so much temptation, Jessica says. She does so by standing by her Christian upbringing.

Jacqueline Bowie, 16 Junior, Butler High School

A member of the Lady Bulldogs basketball team, Jacqueline wants to be a role model for younger students.

In her Xtreme board finalist column, Jacqueline wrote about striving to be the "best" in life and the importance of the effort -- not just the final result.

To illustrate her point, she used the following quote from Henry Van [filtered word]: "Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best."

Alston Carter, 17 Senior, Harlem High School

Alston said she's only functional when she's busy. She manages to stay that way by being active at school (she's "the voice of Harlem High School") and editor of the school yearbook.

Outside of school, she participates in youth government, specifically Youth Assembly. She works part-time at Winn-Dixie as a customer-service manager and bookkeeper.

Alston has great tips on "hot places to go on a first date." Stay tuned.

Sean Cumiskey, 16 Junior, Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High School

Sean is an activist in the making.

After all of the hullabaloo over the dress codes, he and a friend made some buttons which read: "GUNS don't kill people, UNTUCKED SHIRTS kill people." They distributed them at school, and people asked for more.

The experience taught him "a small group with a just cause can get the masses behind them."

Sean eventually plans to use his creative talent as a comic-book illustrator, free-lance artist or set designer.

Tiffany Folger, 15 Sophomore, Evans High School

Tiffany doesn't want to be just a run-of-the-mill attorney. She's aiming for the big time: Supreme Court justice.

In the meantime, she's active in school sports like basketball and track and on the yearbook and student council. Tiffany loves listening to music and attending local concerts. (The coolest in her book was the Third Eye Blind/Goo-Goo Dolls gig at Fort Gordon this year.)

Tiffany has some great story ideas for Xtreme and is ready to start "digging" for more.

Brian Jones, 14 Freshman, Greenbrier High School

Brian is the resident movie buff on the board.

Not only does he spend his free time going to and renting movies, he writes reviews and posts them on his Web site. Most recently, he thought Bowfinger was "hugely funny."

Naturally, Brian wants to be involved in the filmmaking process when he's older, preferably as a director.

Some of his fave flicks are: Sunset Boulevard, Pulp Fiction, The House of Yes and Waiting for Guffman.

Sarah McElmurray, 18 Senior, Cross Creek High School

As a member of the inaugural graduating class at Augusta's newest high school, Sarah is psyched for her senior year.

A former student at Hephzibah High School, she said part of the challenge of being at a new school is getting clubs and organizations off the ground.

In addition to school activities, Sarah "lives for shopping" and models on the Augusta Mall Teen Fashion Board.

Tamara McTyre, 17 Senior, George P. Butler Comprehensive High School

Tamara (pronounced Ta-mare-ah) is an aspiring journalist and poet. She works on the high school newspaper and is currently a semifinalist in three poetry contests.

Like many applicants, Tamara is concerned with the stereotypical image of teen-agers today. She wrote:

"People judge us based on our age before they know us. Many adults don't believe we have any civil rights, but indeed we do. I try to live up to this challenge by voicing my opinion here at home with my parents and to teachers at school."

Randall Peek, 16 Senior, Westside High School

Randall is the most interesting teen he knows because, in his words, he's "the whole damn show."

He eventually wants to rule the world so he can make the world a place of equal opportunity.

He's learning takeover strategies at school as a member of the Future Business Leaders of America.

When he's not planning for the future, Randall listens to rap music, writes poetry and talks to lots of girls.

Jon Reames, 17 Senior, Augusta Christian School

Jon is ready for a challenge and thinks other teens should take his lead:

"We as a nation are so far behind other countries such as Japan and are now trying to pull in the slack to catch up and become competitive. I strive to meet this challenge every day by simply desiring to learn more so one day I may be competitive and win the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions." Go Jon!

After meeting this goal (and Alex Trebek) Jon wants to be a novelist -- Stephen King is his inspiration -- and a high school history teacher.

Natalie Spires, 16 Junior, Lakeside High School

Natalie wonders why the new dress code policies have become such a big deal.

Natalie, who recently switched from private to public school, wrote about the subject for her finalist column. She said Columbia County students shouldn't be complaining about having to tuck in their shirts.

"If that's going to keep what happened in Columbine from happening here, then I'm all for it," she wrote.

More important to Natalie -- who lost a friend in a drunken-driving accident -- is teens taking the responsibility of driving more seriously.

Ernesia Wideman, 17 Senior, Lucy Craft Laney High School

If you recognize Ernesia, it's probably because you've seen her on the sports pages of the Chronicle.

As point guard and captain of the Lady Wildcats, Nesia burns up the court and keeps the team together. She's also Miss Laney for 1999-2000.

Of course, basketball is Nesia's main hobby, which she says "cools me down and takes everything else off my mind."

When she's not shooting hoops, she reads and hangs out with family and friends.

Alfie Williams, 17

Senior, Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High School

Alfie hates monotony.

When she's not decorating different parts of her house or rearranging her room, she tries to make changes at her school.

This year she and a teacher initiated a peer leadership group as a resource for students who need to talk about problems. Peer leaders also act as mediators when a student has a problem with another student.

Alfie hopes such programs create more communication among teen-agers.

"Informing people is so important to me because ignorance can be so deadly," she wrote.