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Terrific Teens … Spotlight on FuRen Bemis

As seen in the annual ‘Terrific Teens’ issue of West Hartford Magazine, 2015. FuRen Bemis is a 2015 graduate of Hall High School.

By Katie Cavanaugh. Photos by Todd Fairchild/ShutterbugCT.com

For our fifth annual spotlight on recent West Hartford high school graduates, we were once again challenged because the pool of “Terrific Teen” candidates is virtually never-ending. We discovered teens with talents, tastes for travel, and thirsts for new challenges – both big and small. Every young person has an interesting story, and what resulted are eight stories about eight great role models whose aspirations will inspire anyone of any age.

FuRen Bemis is a 2015 graduate of Hall High School and a 'Terrific Teen.' photo credit: Todd Fairchild/Shutterbugct.com

FuRen Bemis is a 2015 graduate of Hall High School and a ‘Terrific Teen.’ photo credit: Todd Fairchild/ Shutterbugct.com

A recent graduate of William H. Hall High School, FuRen (Caroline) Bemis lives her life centered on the water. When she’s not lifeguarding at Tumble Brook Country Club or the University of Hartford, FuRen can probably be found on the water steering and coordinating a team of rowers.

“I like to be busy,” she said. And busy she is.

FuRen attends the University of Connecticut, and is a coxswain for their Division One Women’s Rowing team. As the coxswain, her main job is to keep the rowers on course when they are on the water. “You’re kind of the coach in the boat. The coaches tell you the workout and you do it,” she said.

While at Hall, FuRen was a coxswain for the Riverfront Men’s Rowing Team. She said she is very appreciative of the constructive feedback her teammates gave her because it helped her continue to improve and hone in her skills. “I had two great seasons and became super-obsessed with the sport,” FuRen said.

Among FuRen’s other obsessions are travel and adventure. These passions led her to the High Mountain Institute in Leadville, CO, where she spent one semester of her junior year of high school learning while getting a better understanding of the environment. While there, FuRen went on outdoor adventures such as backpacking through the mountains and canyons in Utah.

“I really love outdoor activities in general,” she said. “One thing I really want to get into is rock climbing.”

When she returned to West Hartford from Colorado, FuRen was faced with a bit of culture shock. She did not feel as though she fit in as well as she did before. “Coming back from my semester away I just stopped fitting the West Hartford mold. I’m not really preppy … Not that it’s a bad thing, but I had a hard time fitting into that.”

When she is home in West Hartford, FuRen enjoys trips to the Quaker Diner. “I’ve spent too much money there, but it’s so good. Quaker’s home fries are so good,” she said.

Her favorite food is pizza because it is versatile in that it can be eaten either hot or cold. She loves crime shows and her favorite movie is The Breakfast Club.

FuRen was adopted from China when she was 18 months old. “A lot of people in China want to be adopted and live the American way of life,” she said.

Now 18 years old, FuRen is doing just that. She has entered her first year of UConn with a pure determination to succeed. “I guess one of my biggest hopes for the next four years is to win our conference and go to the NCAA Championship,” she said.

College is a time when young adults are forced to face a series of unknowns, and that can be daunting. However, FuRen is ready to face any and all challenges with tenacious spirit and a smile. “I want to have fun while I’m young.”

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