When she was in the fifth and seventh grades, Natanya Trazenfeld donated her hair to help cancer victims. Now Trazenfeld is a senior at Palmetto High School and she continues to help those with cancer.
“Relay for Life – for the last two years I’ve had a team,” Trazenfeld says. “When my mom got involved in it, I made a team of just my friends. It’s just a great thing to do.”
This year, the Relay for Life team’s theme was from the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
“We had tie-dye activities at our booth,” she says. “We sold Bundt cakes and spinach pies.” Trazenfeld says she has enjoyed organizing the Relay For Life teams.
“It definitely lets you be creative,” she says. “You need to incorporate your themes. How you decorate, how you dress, what you sell. People loved the tie-dye activities.”
A year earlier, the event had a Candyland theme.
“As a team of academic girls, we chose candy nerds,” Trazenfeld says. “Our main activity was a dump tank. You could dunk a bully or a jock. My brother’s friend got into it. We got some guys to get in. We made $800 off the dunk tank.”
However, the tank flooded the field, so the dunk tank was not invited back even though it was popular.
“It was so hot at that relay that people wanted to pay us just to get into the dunk tank,” Trazenfeld says, adding that they ended up charging for those dips as well.
“Relay for Life overall is a great thing to participate in,” Trazenfeld says. “The whole community is there. People from our school have teams. We hang out at night; teachers and parents are there, the mayor is there, it brings everyone together.”
At Palmetto High School, Trazenfeld is involved in many of the honor societies. She is the recording sectary for Social Science Honor Society and she has been on the board for the National Honor Society. As vice president of communications for the National Art Honor Society, she became involved in the Smarty Dogs campaign.
“I was in charge of helping decorate one of the dogs,” Trazenfeld says. “It came out really well. I’m also in charge of an initiative called Mix It Up. It’s a national program to break down social barriers and cliques at school, to get students to interact with students they wouldn’t normally interact with.”
The group has activities in October where they break into groups and talk about things such as safety at school and bullying.
“We talk about racial issues,” she says. “Including do you think our school is tolerant. It was a really cool thing to see that that people in this school aren’t all that different.”
Trazenfeld is also on the Pinecrest Youth Advisory Board.
“I’ve been part of that since it began during my freshman year,” she says. “The advisory council meets with Mayor Lerner and we talk about a variety of things. She likes to get our input on things.”
At the end of last year, Trazenfeld was given the Wellesley College Book Award for top academics and leadership within the school and the community.
“I’m very proud of that,” she says. “It was a good surprise.”
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld