"After I won the scholarship I was so proud of myself that I could really do that. That's what I call confidence. High school for me has been tough as far as grades go--I've gotten good grades, but I've never had to maintain them and have such a heavy social life," she says, speaking of the requisite Links workshops and teas. "My parents can handle my social life, but they were almost positive it was going to do something to my grades," she says. "I've kept a 3.7 grade-point average, and I think I've shown them that I can do it."
Her parents have high expectations of all three Reid girls. "They're always saying 'there's no such word as \o7 can't.\f7
Reid is appreciative of and frustrated by her parents' strictness: "they never let me go out on weeknights during the school year. They have to know where I'm going, who I'm going with and when I'll be back. They wouldn't want me to be around some of the things my peers do. They know what happens at some of these parties, and I'm sure they trust me that I don't do them.
"I've been under peer pressure before, and I've resisted it. I haven't ever tried drugs or alcohol. It goes back to the way I was brought up. I have really high morals and values. I don't have long before I can drink legally, and then I can make that decision. It doesn't bother me to have to wait." But Reid does admit to being impatient about gaining access to the family car.
With girlfriends, she cruises the malls and goes to movies. She has resisted the trend to dressing up. "People here dress to impress, no matter where they're going," Reid says. "At school the girls dress up so much, with tons of makeup and frilly dresses."
Her own clothing style is "laid back, especially in school. I wear sweats and jeans. And I love to go window-shopping with my boyfriend. He really knows the kind of clothes that look good on me."
Reid met her 16-year-old boyfriend Darrin Chapman, through Jack and Jill, a community youth group that stresses charity work and leadership.
"We were great friends first," she says of their relationship, "and then nothing sparked until last May. My mom and dad tease us about our ages, but they really like him. I don't know if I'd ever have gotten through a few things without him. The only thing I'm not looking forward to is graduating and leaving him behind."
But graduation is very much on her mind this final year of high school. She plans to apply to UC Davis, Howard University in Washington and Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Ala. She will probably major in biology and, after graduation, enroll in veterinary school.
"I've always loved animals and nature," she says. "And I want to minor in business so that before I retire I can have some sort of franchise, like a pet shop or a pet-grooming shop.
"I definitely think of myself as an achiever. That's been put in my mind by my grandmother, Eva Grant, who has a doctorate and is coordinator of parent education for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Reid says: "I look at her and see everything I want to be.
"She has influenced a lot of people in the community. She's been a role model to everybody else, and she's been a role model to me. Through her, I get to be involved with things most people my age wouldn't be exposed to--like I helped her out for a luncheon she gave for (Los Angeles School Board President) Rita Walters. It's not like she's a big movie star, but people know her name. I'd like to have my name known like that through charitable acts."
Reid has watched Orange County develop into a prosperous area filled with business parks, restaurants and shopping malls that she believes will one day rival Los Angeles. "It's so neat to watch it grow. And I can see more of a diversity of cultures, too. I see a lot more blacks than when I moved here six years ago. I think that's a plus for my two younger sisters.
"It's not that I felt like I didn't belong before, but I felt that I was kind of deprived. I always used to wish that my parents had brought me up in an area where there were more blacks. But now I can see why they wanted us to be with a cultural mix. It lets you see how you have to act differently in different areas.
"I don't like the rush-rush life. I always used to wish I lived in a place that was more face-paced. But I'm glad I don't. My parents always tell me not to grow up too fast, to take it one day at a time and enjoy my high school years. I thoroughly agree. I'm trying real hard."