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Extraordinary Teen Juggles Many Tasks While In High School

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A teen's life is busy enough dealing with issues like school, homework, and part-time jobs, not to mention a boyfriend or girlfriend. But many teens still find time to give back to their community. One teen is trying to make an extraordinary difference for her impressionable peers.

Apex High School senior Courtney Mallow is excited about a lot more than class.

"I just do the things that I love and it's not working because I'm enjoying it," she said.

Mallow is a student scholar, student body vice president, a track star and the school newspaper's editor-in-chief. She is also chairwoman of the town of Cary Teen Council, volunteering hundreds of hours to plan and implement social, recreational and service-oriented activities.

Mallow also led the effort to collect suitcases for foster children.

"Often times, foster children only have a black trash bag to put all their belongings in and it's really demeaning," she said.

Mallow is also co-chair of Cary's teen advisory committee. It's made up of teens and government officials who volunteer their time to discuss solutions to teen concerns like drug and alcohol abuse, reckless driving and gangs.

Those problems hit close to home for Mallow. One of her classmates was recently killed in a car crash. Troopers say the driver was speeding and drinking.

"I see it even at this school, everywhere there's problems with teens into drugs, alcohol, and so I do believe it's really important to have those alternatives where they can turn to and have fun and develop themselves as community leaders," she said.

"She juggles so many different things, which makes her an outstanding young lady," said Cindi King, an advisor to the teen council.

"It may sound trite, but we are the future and we're going to be the future leaders of our community, so I think it's important that kids get involved in their community," Mallow said.

Mallow is also a volunteer day camp counselor during summers working 40 hours a week. Plus, she has a part-time job. She is a graduating senior with a full scholarship to The University of Virginia.