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Hola, me llamo Karin. You can call me Karen or you can call me Karín, with an accent over the "i." The majority of the people I know prefer the customary pronunciation "Karen," although the correct way would be with an accent on the "i." Okay, now you know my name. Now let's talk about who Karin is.

I am seventeen years old and I currently reside in the Bronx, where I have lived most of my life. Although I am a citizen of this great country, I was born in a small town called La Romana, in the Dominican Republic. My mom and I came to this country when I was about five. Ever since then, I have become accustomed to American surroundings. This is why I can relate well to American painting. I have come to appreciate what America has offered me; but still, I am homesick. I cannot even explain how much pride I have for the Dominican Republic. I love it to death, and I would not change it for anything. Everything about it: the beaches, the sun, the coconuts, the laughs, and the people, they all form a part of who I am.

Now that you know what I am, a dork, I want you to know that I attend Aquinas High School for girls in the Bronx. It's a Catholic school devoted to educating young girls. Yes, I know what you're thinking, you're asking yourself, "what in the world was she thinking?" But actually, it's really not that bad. It's just a matter of getting used to it. Boys aren't always everything, and it's much better without them in school, trust me. This school has given me an elite education and has taught me to set academics as my main priority.

If I were another person I would describe myself as patient and harmless. My being quiet or loud depends on my mood. But overall, I am the nicest chick you could meet. My favorite extracurricular activities include swimming and track. I am bound to the ocean because of the revitalizing energy it conceals. It is also a symbol of freedom and liberty. I try to run whenever I have the chance. It is a time to run from anxiety and from stress. The main hobbies and talents that I spend most of my time on, are dancing and art; I love both and everything that comes with them. The ability to move my body freely has given me the internal power to focus more on the things around my life and me.

Art, on the other hand, is quite similar because it allows for an individual's unique freedom of expression. One thing that I enjoy about art is that there are no right or wrong answers to it. The experience that I've shared here at the Whitney with my co-workers at Youth Insights and with Cathleen has given me a broader definition of art. Artwork encourages one to become more aware of one's inner criticism. I am an artist myself and meeting other artists has been a wonderful experience, and has encouraged me to look at my work from a different perspective. As for my life, I live it like any other teenager: with stress, changes, friendship, work, and all those good ingredients that compose me at this time in life. Although it can be overwhelming sometimes, these things can fortify me and help me be more alive. I am still unsure about my future. I don't have a full grip on my exact identity because I am still changing. Very soon I will be embarking on an independent journey to adulthood. Youth Insights is helping me get there.