BY CASSIA LAHAM
The dismissal bell may release students from class, but for many, leaving the school grounds is not an immediate
outcome. After leaving fourth period, many students are forced to experience something more grueling and tedious than any
Advanced Placement course: the student parking lot. While stuck in the blazing heat of the car for about twenty minutes, students
can admire the array of colors that characterize the display of BMWs, Jaguars, Mercedes and Hummers scattered throughout the
"I got a brand new BMW from my parents for my sixteenth birthday," senior Sami Mandel said. "I was
very surprised, but I feel I earned it because I get good grades and it's not like I'm a bad kid."
Weston has the highest average income in Florida at $83,000, and ranks number 13 in the country, according to an
August 2006 poll released by the U.S. Census Bureau. To those who have merely glanced into the Cypress Bay student parking
lot, this shouldn't come as a very big surprise.
"My BMW. I love it," said Michael Gershoni, a former student at the Bay. "It was a surprise for my
16th birthday from my parents. It has a GPS and leather interior. I practically live in it."
However, not every student feels that getting a new car is the best present for a 16-year-old.
"My own parents can't afford BMWs and Mercedes for themselves," junior Shilan Heravi said. "These
kids can barely even drive. Many times, as I'm leaving school, these kids nearly hit me with their fancy cars."
Some students at other South Florida high schools also perceive the average Cypress Bay teenager as a pampered Westonite.
"Whenever I hear the name 'Cypress Bay', I think of kids driving really fancy cars with Coach purses wrapped
around their arms," said Kelsey Franklin, a senior at Miramar High School.
Although Weston is known for being wealthy town, many students at Cypress Bay don't appreciate being stereotyped
as 'rich kids.'
"I hate that just because I attend a school in Weston, people assume that I wear expensive clothes, and I have
10 iPods in the back of my nonexistent Mercedes Benz," junior Chantelle Crown said.
According to clinical psychologist Judith B. Marquit, located in Davie, receiving too much too soon has more serious
consequences than just earning the 'spoiled rich kid' title.
"An important life lesson is to work hard for something and reap the benefits of your earnings," Mrs.
Marquit said. "At times, parents may have the tendency to overindulge their children with materialistic gifts, thereby
actually taking away the joy of accomplishment."
Junior Myles Corvalan can relate to this sense of achievement. He works for the lawn service Luscious Landscaping
at $7 an hour. Corvalan also picks up trash around his neighborhood in Davie every Friday for $10.
"I am trying to save money so that when I want to get something for myself, like a car, or go on a trip, I
have the money," Corvalan said. "I think that the kids here should work for the things they want because later in
life people aren't going to just hand you things on a silver platter."
Aside from materialistic benefits, one can obtain a significantly higher level of confidence.
"When an individual works hard for something and eventually can achieve it, the end result is that their self-esteem
is enhanced," Marquit said.
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