PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 December, 2006, 12:00am

Name: Stephanie Ramones

Age: 17

City/country: Miami/ United States

School name: G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School

Star sign: Cancer

I was born in Venezuela but now live in Miami. The US is a much safer place to live. Venezuela is currently in a lot of social and political turmoil under the current president. There are also more education opportunities in the US than in Venezuela.

Miami is a culturally rich city. I love that the people in Miami are so open-minded. I also like the fact that I live less than 20 minutes from the beach.

The US is a place of freedom where you can reach your dreams, no matter where you came from.

I've been told I'm unusual in the way that I don't let anything or anyone bring down my dreams. I guess I have a secret love of proving people wrong.

The weather in Miami is hot and muggy for most of the year. The occasional hurricane blows through in the summer.

I study philosophy, psychology, art history, English, economics, Latin, and debating. My school life is interesting, and I love to learn.

My favourite subject is psychology, because I love studying how to help people help themselves, by understanding the way their mind works.

Some teenagers in America are very intelligent and motivated, while others don't see their full potential. In the future, I would like to work as a life coach, where I can teach them to reach their goals.

I have to wear school uniform, but when not in uniform I like to stay comfortable wearing shorts, sweatpants, jeans and t-shirts. My parents buy most of my clothes.

I have two cats and will soon have a pet crab.

My idol is Nelson Mandela. Even after facing so much adversity, he was able to lead his country.

In my free time, I like to read. My favourite book is The Journey by Brandon Bays. It explains some of Deepak Chopra's philosophy on how emotions can physically affect the body. I have always believed in the power of the mind, and I found it interesting to learn how I can control my body with my mind and emotions.

My favourite author is Stephen King. He constantly writes great horror books that keep me on the edge but aren't too gory - with the exception of Carrie.

I also like to write and talk with my friends on the phone. I hang out with my friends in video arcades and our houses. We normally like to just talk or watch movies.

My favourite sports are running and basketball.

I get along very well with my parents. I also live with my grandparents, who I tend to disagree with on many religious and cultural matters. They believe that I should attend Catholic church and live life according to the Bible.

But I am agnostic, and don't believe in most of the Catholic interpretations of the Bible.

I'm a vegetarian and I normally have to cook for myself. I normally eat pasta and different salads or health foods. I also have to wash my own clothes and keep my room and guest bathroom clean.

In Miami, everyone celebrates their birth countries' independence days. For example, I go to the Venezuelan festival of independence in July.

If you want to make friends with teens from other countries, send an e-mail to yp.epal@scmp.com. Sunday Young Post will forward all e-mails to Stephanie.