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Students Practice with Driving School’s Mustang

Jamie Wheeler-Roberts
All-Star Driver, a driving school in Westport, has purchased a white 2012 Mustang to be used by students.

The engine turns. The suspenseful music intensifies. A dark garage opens as headlights flash and tires screech. A voice booms on screen: “The return of a legend. Remastered. Perfected.” It’s the 2012 Ford Mustang, and according to its commercials, it’s more than just a new engine; it’s a new way to think about engines.

You wouldn’t expect a car as distinctive—and costly—as a Mustang to be driven by teens, but don’t be surprised if you happen to spot a Staples student driving such a car around town.

Indeed, All-Star Driver, a driver’s education school in Westport, has purchased a white 2012 Mustang. This means that, yes, students with simply a learner’s permit can drive America’s “untamable horse.”

According to All-Star Driver general manager Brandon Dufour, students and instructors alike love the Mustang. In fact, he said prospective students and their parents have even contacted the school simply to confirm that All-Star is really the driving school that uses a Mustang.

Though some may be skeptical as to why All-Star Driver would even buy a Mustang in the first place, Dufour assures that the decision was made for a sound reason.

“We think it’s important that our students learn to drive a variety of different cars. Not everyone is going to drive a compact car, so we offer options,” Dufour said. “The Mustang is one example. We also have three SUVs in our fleet, as well as manual shift cars.”

Dufour added that only true difference between the Mustang and typical cars used by students is the ability for the car’s top to go down. He said that the car’s body structure and engine are virtually identical.

Chase Kelly ’13 was apprehensive: “Great. Trust an arrogant group of teenagers with a Mustang.”

Most students echoed Kelly’s hesitation. For example, Molly O’Shea ’14, a current All-Star Driver student, said she believes that high school students driving a sports car, while amusing to envision, is needlessly ostentatious.

“I feel like it would be embarrassing to drive it. But then again, it would be fun,” O’Shea said. “It’s such a flashy car, and it would look obnoxious to drive it, as well as draw attention to my driving.”

Eilene Ayala ’15 agreed: “I would feel more comfortable in an old car than in a Mustang,” she said. “I would be scared to ruin the car.”

The Mustang is available for student use from April 15 to Nov. 15. During the winter, the car is taken off the road for safety reasons.

Although the Mustang may be structurally similar to a regular driving practice car, the ability to say, “I drove a Mustang during Driver’s Ed” would likely add an interesting note to any conversation.

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About the Contributors
Amina Abdul-Kareem, Staff Writer
The brutal capture and murder of James Foley shook America, but it has not dissuaded journalists or budding activists from the concept of traveling to unstable countries, especially not Amina Abdul-Kareem. “Danger excites me,” she puts simply, “I think the best reporting can be done when you’re actually at the scene yourself.”  Even at the age of ten, Amina ignored danger to find out if a rumor of cannibalism around her estate in Kenya was really true.  “My uncle told us we weren’t allowed to play outside, but me being me, I snuck out and found out what was really happening for myself.” Amina, a daring and curious senior at Staples High School, was born in Dubai and moved to America when she was a year old.  Even though she had family from many different parts of the world in addition to Kenya, Amina did not always feel very connected to her ethnicity “Growing up, I kinda felt lost, I didn’t have any connection to my Somali roots.”  On the pursuit of finding herself, Amina has taken the Staples African Studies class and dedicated herself to fully appreciating her culture. In an effort to do exactly that, next summer, Amina and her cousin will be traveling around the Horn of Africa to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya to fully immerse themselves in their African backgrounds.  “We’re both in the middle of an identity crisis,” she says of her and her cousin, “that’s what we call it.” Amina may be in the middle of a cultural “crisis”, but she is very confident in her future career path.  “I want to pursue a job in the medical field so I can go back to Somalia and help the people who are suffering from famine and poverty.”  A very laudable ambition; Amina is set on getting her medical degree in nursing after graduating from Staples in 2015. Somalia is one of the most dangerous places in the world, but Amina’s passion for helping others is stronger than the fear of risking her life.  The real threat of being kidnapped in unstable third world countries does not cause Amina to falter, even considering the circumstances of Tom Foley’s demise.  As Veronica Roth might say, fear doesn’t shut Amina down; it wakes her up.
Jamie Wheeler-Roberts, News Editor
Jamie Wheeler – Roberts, who loves to write and edit for the paper, has a passion for journalism as well as something else. Jamie is a girl who along with loving journalism loves to travel.  Because her mom works for an airline, flying alone at a young age is natural to her. She’s traveled across the world, from Europe to Australia, and has plenty of stories to go with it. “I like going to new places and seeing how different others live their lives compared to ours,” said Jamie ‘13. Jamie is still aspiring to travel more, as she looks forward to hopefully attending college in London. Besides getting to live in a foreign country, she can also focus on her interest in Social Studies which she has indulged over the years by taking courses at Princeton during the summer.  At college though, she wants to focus on her specific passion for International Relations. Jamie has been active in clubs such as JSA, the debate team and student ambassador.  However, during her last few years at Staples she has spent more time at Inklings where she likes making the paper.

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