Rica Roberts, a quirky rising senior of Filipino and West Indian descent from the Bronx, is a 17 year-old teenager who is living each day as they come, occasionally questioning her future and having hobbies.
Roberts describes herself as “not very outgoing and awkward” because she voices her opinions on topics, which people sometimes misinterpret, but states, “I like helping people.” Once in a while, she will play the role of therapist to her friends. “When they have problems in like love or school, I always bring a smile on their face even if I go down in flames,” she said. Some say that she is too nice; once a classmate wrote on her middle school yearbook, “I’m a miss you, get rough”, informing her to toughen up.
Indeed, she did toughen up because she had to grow up with two younger brothers, 13 year-old Lester Roberts and 11 year-old Lesroy Roberts, whom she labeled “the evil ones” since they drove her crazy, but she had humorous ways of dealing with them. “One time, I taped up my brother like a chicken,” she says recalling the time that Lester kicked her in the face and she put duct tape over his mouth, arms, and legs. She enjoyed sharing this memory and concluded stating, “I love duct tape.”
The same brother described Roberts as “weird, foolish, and awkward” and recalls sneaking up on her while she was sleeping and attempting to throw things in her mouth. When he was asked if she is helpful to him, he responded, “Yes, because when my parents leave us at home she lets my brother and I do what we want.”
When asked about future career choices, Roberts replied light-heartily “I’m very lost.” With her career undecided, she tells us of how a teacher, Mr. Rodriguez, recommended that she and other students go away for college and they’d see New York City as a whole new world. “You’ll never look at it the same,” she says, passing on the teacher’s wise words. Roberts admires both the city and the countryside. She summed this up with two statements: “I like the open space. I like to run around” and “I love the city, I just hate people.” Some places she’d love to go are Greece because of the food and a love for mythology and Brazil, for the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro. She also included, “Well, all places have cute boys” humorously.
Aside from worrying about her future like many teenagers do, Roberts is very friendly and fun as one of her good friends who she has known since her freshman year, Niya Harry, described her as “crazy, funny, and sweet.” “My favorite memory was when I came to her house unexpectedly and when I knocked on her door she’s all like “You’re crazy” and we were just laughing at that,” Harry recalls of her beloved friend.
Roberts has typical teenage hobbies like being an avid movie watcher and checking her Facebook regularly. A self-proclaimed “movie jumper”, she goes to the movie theater with her family and watches as many movies as possible. “When were done with one movie, we jump to other ones,” she said. She likes comedies, action-packed, or suspenseful films. She said, “Any movie that makes me laugh, I’ll be talking about it for weeks.” Her overall favorite movie is the animated film Kung Fu Panda 2.
Even though people may call her “weird” or “awkward”, it doesn’t matter to Roberts because she’s confident with her personality. “At least I’m different,” she said cheerfully, “I always have to bring some quirkiness, that’s just me.”