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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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By look of things, dream is closing in
Amanda Schorel will find out Monday if she is a finalists to be a Seventeen cover model.
By MICHELE MILLER, Times Staff Writer
Published December 9, 2007
[Special to the Times]
Amanda Schorel will find out Monday if she is a finalist to be a Seventeen cover model.
When she got the call from her mom, Amanda Schorel wasn't thinking about the contest. In fact, Amanda, who was busy waiting on customers at Boston Market, thought she was in trouble for missing curfew the night before.
So she was more than a little surprised to hear that she had been named as one of 17 female semi-finalists in Seventeen magazine's Reader Model Contest.
"It was probably one of the best days of my life," said Schorel, 18. "I was actually standing there crying in front of my customers."
Since then, Amanda, who lives in Hudson with her mom, Cheryl Schorel, has been campaigning for friends and family to vote for her on-line at Seventeen.com, because just like with American Idol, that's how you win. The winners of both the male and female contest will be selected from the top five vote-getters.
"I asked everybody I knew to vote for me," said Amanda, who had to write an essay and submit her own photographs to enter. "I actually posted daily MySpace bulletins."
Now, with the voting over, comes the wait.
"The suspense is killing me," Amanda said in a telephone interview last week.
The top five vote-getters will be announced Monday. After that the Ford Modeling Agency will select the winner of a $10,000 Ford Modeling Agency contract and a fashion photo spread in the May issue of Seventeen.
Modeling has been a longtime dream for the 2006 Hudson High graduate.
"I've always wanted to be a model since I was about 3 years old," she said. "I actually watched a concert of Mariah Carey and thought she was so beautiful. I asked my mom what she would be if she was just standing still, and she said, 'a model.' Ever since then I've wanted to be a model."
"She was always a girly-girl," Cheryl Schorel said. "She always wanted to wear dresses and play makeup. That (modeling) had always been her dream, but so was education. That was something that I pushed. She graduated high school early - when she was 16. She was an honor roll student and a track runner and always very responsible."
Amanda, who lists Nicole Richie, Mary Kate Olsen and Angelina Jolie as her fashion influences, did go on to do some runway shows for J.C. Penney in her home state of Virginia. But that ended when she and her mom moved to Key West.
Still, she held fast to the dream. She even signed up with a talent company, after moving to Hudson, that posted her picture on its Web site for a monthly fee.
"That turned out to be a scam," she said. "It was 6 months before we found out. We were paying them all that time."
That experience made her a little wary. Still, she gave Seventeen a shot after her mom e-mailed her a link to the magazine contest Web site and encouraged her to enter.
"I actually want to thank my mom because she's always been the biggest inspiration," Amanda said. "She really takes an interest in everything I do."
And what else might that be, aside from the modeling gig?
Right now Amanda is working toward her associates degree at Pasco Hernando Community College. She also works as a manager at Boston Market. After that, it's off to the University of South Florida.
"I'm actually majoring in psychology," said Amanda. "So if it (modeling) doesn't work out, that's going to be my career."