Charista models her courage, ambition, and kindness after the adults in her life who inspire her, including immigrants who came to pursue the American dream. Charista’s own dream is to champion “women’s rights on behalf of the legions who may have lost their voice because of intimidation, injustice, or inequality.” At age 15, Charista became the youngest-ever columnist and teen correspondent for the daily Staten Island Advance, where she covers topics that range from teen depression to global warming. Her column has turned into a television presence, as well, giving her a platform to interview notable community leaders. A champion swimmer and classical pianist, Charista has interned for Senator Charles Schumer and a judge, and has been a finalist in a number of pageants. From Staten Island, New York, Charista will attend Barnard College this fall.