Students at Bingham High have various views on why teenagers need role models and how they choose them.

"Role models are people you admire, those people that help make you a good person"' is Spencer Park's opinion of who role models are and why it is important to have them.Everyone has role models. They are a necessary part of our lives, part of growing up, Katrina Weaver feels. "Role models give us someone to pattern our lives after."

Teens need role models to provide direction. Jeff Pratt said, "To have a role model helps you to decide where you want to go with your life." A role model shows what a teen's life could be like in the future. Role models provide a picture of who a teen would like to be. "Role models' examples give me something to work toward," is how Sarah Deaver feels role models influence her future life.

A role model is "someone to look at and try to gain the qualities that they have," stated Natalie Bean. When teens were asked what qualities they want a role model to possess, the list included words such as canny, compassionate, optimistic, encouraging, willing to listen, understanding, patient, humorous, intelligent, strong-willed, honest, loyal, ready to stand up for what they believe in, helpful, easy to talk to, funny, generous, talented and cheerful. Sarah Deaver said her "role models have traits (she) wants to have."

Robbie Jenkins said, "Role models show that even in a cruel world, there are good people; that there are people that stand up for what is right and good. Role models encourage and inspire." "Role models bring up a teen's self-esteem and give them a base to model their lives after," Heidi Woolley stated. A role model makes a teen want to go out and do the best they can in school and in life." Emily Martin felt that "a role model gives you motivation."

Teens learn through the triumphs and failures of their role models. Teens want to learn from their role models' triumphs how to succeed and also how to carry on after failure. Alex Earl said, "Based on what I see older people have done, I can make goals for my own life." Jodi Beck said, "It is important that we have role models to provide guidance."

"The role models teens need are not the ones that appear in the media," stated Natalie Bean. Robbie Jenkins added, "Role models are the people you interact with. The people you interact with are the only ones close enough to influence you."

Kadie Calder is a senior at Bingham High School.