Story last updated at 10/24/2012 - 5:55 pm
Ever wondered about someone you pass on the sidewalk, see in the grocery store, or heard mentioned in stories? This is our attempt to track those people down, and grill them, lightly.
Spunk-a-licious. That's what, if given just one word to describe 16-year old Katrina Stokes, I would choose. Stokes is a junior at Thunder Mountain High School, and works in the evenings at Play it Again Sports. She's the first of her siblings to work during high school, something of which she proud. She also doesn't mind the extra cash. See, Stokes loves fashion.
"I love being able to express myself with clothes," Stokes said. She was wearing jeans, red-orange ones, dark purple UGG boots, a large white t-shirt and a black and white tiger print scarf that beautifully illuminated her half Guatemalan heritage. Eight of her fingernails were painted red. Her index fingers were blue. It's a California thing, she said.
"When I was little I wanted to be a fashion designer," Stoked giggled. "I always said I wanted to be editor-in-chief of a big fashion magazine. My parents said it wouldn't get me anywhere." She hasn't lost this dream, but she is determined to complete high school and attend college. "I know there are schools for fashion, but you always want to have that backup plan. If I get laid off I need a plan B."
Her other loves are music, dancing and traveling.
"One of my favorite singers is Frank Ocean," Stokes said. "His voice, his music; I feel like I can relate to (it). When I listen to his music it calms me."
She's traveled to the Bahamas and Jamaica and plans to go further.
"I want to go to India and get an elephant and name it Peanut," Stokes said. "I want to be a nurse. My transportation would be the elephant." Another form of locomotion Stokes admitted to being fantasized with is race car driving. "I've always wanted to do NASCAR racing. Get on the track and go as fast as I can. It would just be fun."
She moved from San Diego, Calif. when she was 14, with her father, step-mother and younger sister, who is four, and one of her twin older brothers.
"California was getting hectic," Stokes said.
Gang violence was on the rise and the national economic depression was hitting the state hard. Her family, she said, felt that Juneau would be a safer environment. Her step-mother's sister was already living here, and her mom, older sister and her other older twin brother remained in California.
When Stokes stepped off the plane in Juneau for her first time, she was wearing a tank top. She said she told herself, "Oh you know, it will stop raining." She said the climate change of her move didn't hit her until her first winter, when the snow came.
"I didn't have any jackets," Stokes said. Fortuitously, she's ended up working at a store that sells all sorts of winter gear.
Stokes often referred to spending time with her friends, and appeared, in her two short years in town, to have found a niche for herself. Stokes credits the student body diversity of THMS for part of this.
"People can be themselves," Stokes said. "They don't have to worry about people bullying them. You don't worry about the judgments."
This sentiment came through when she was asked about her pet peeves, which include, "People that talk about people that don't know the person they're talking about," girls who wear tutus, loud gum chewers and friends that aren't honest with each other.
"I would rather be honest and not lie," Stokes said.
Stokes is on her school's student council.
"I really like it," she said. "You get involved with school. I wanted to have more dances. The juniors are in charge of the prom so we get to pick the prom theme."
Stokes said her favorite subject is history, and she "kind of" likes chemistry.
When she kind of doesn't like something, like when she received a poor grade in class once, her father is more of a gentle nudger, she said, than a foot stomper. He asked her to please do the work she needed to do in order to raise her grade.
"The worse thing a parent can say is, 'I'm not mad, I'm disappointed,'" Stokes said. "That's what makes me get my grades up."
She said her dad saved her family members' lives by moving them up here.
"There are so many great things about my dad," Stokes said. "He is always there for us. He always finds a way to come up with what I need. He sends me to New York every summer where he grew up. My dad is super funny."
Her stepmother is also extremely influential in her life.
"I love her because though I know my mom, she's the one person who's been there if I came home with a broken heart," Stokes said, tearing up. "She's there with chocolate and ice cream and a blanket. She's like a mother and a best friend."
Amanda Compton is the staff writer for the Capital City Weekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.