Tanya Mendoza
Taking Care of Your Skin

Laurisa Jane Serra

Not Your Typical Teenager
by Roger DavilaJanuary 23, 2015

What is the definition of a stereotypical teenager these days? Weird hair? Loud Music? Rebelliousness? These are the characteristics that we, as a society, associate with teenagers. Is that a fair assumption? Are most teenagers that way? No, in fact, there are multiple teenagers that are doing things as they should do in order to prepare for their future in the real world. Some teenagers have extra obstacles and pressures that most do not. I am not talking about inner city kids that have life stacked against them from the start. I am also not talking about the ritzy kids of wealthy parents that take everything for granted. I am talking about the upper middle class teenager that has the undue pressures of being the children of either political or successful community leaders. The pressures that these teens face sometimes is so hard that it causes teenagers to lash out and rebel against the very laws that their parents are trying to enforce. Some make it, some don’t. Then there are those teenagers that excel more in those situations. Laurisa Jane Serra fits that description.

Laurisa Jane Serra is the daughter of a very prominent attorney and presiding Judge of County Court at Law #2, Laura Betancourt. She not only has to keep doing “The Right Thing” but also has to exceed her own expectations and those of her over-achieving mother. Undue pressure at its best, not only does Laurisa have to deal with the pressures of being the daughter of a local judge, she has to deal with pressures of being a teenager in this modern age, along with being a 3 time winner of several beauty pageants, which include, 2015 Miss Texas Jr. High America, 2014 Jr. Miss Cameron County, (American Beauty), and also 2014 Jr. Miss Southern States (American Beauty). Topping it all off, she is an honor student at IDEA Brownsville College Prep School. Whew, that tired me out just writing about it. In most cases, that is a recipe for disaster among teenagers, not for Laurisa, it is more of a challenge. One can only imagine what she does to cope with all that is surrounding her. When I asked, “ How do you deal with being the daughter of a judge and still remain focused on what you need to do?” She turned her head slightly, gave me a beautiful smile and simply said. “I don’t know?” Typical teenage answer. The innocence in that response only conveyed what was already obvious. Laurisa is a modest young woman. She cares about her family, friends and of course everyone else around her. Upon interviewing this young woman, I noticed a sense of accomplishment and determination in her voice. I also felt that whatever she sets her sights on she would accomplish.

Which lead me to my next question. When I asked her what she wanted to be when she finally finished school and grew up she quickly said, “An attorney like my mom.” I asked her why and she said, “Cuz , they hardly ever work!” A statement that caused her mother to turn and frown as soon as she heard it. I laughed when I saw mom’s expression. Then Laurisa gave her mom that tilted smile and it just cleared the air. Laurisa has that aura that most people notice right away. She can light up a room by just walking in. Hence the pageants that she has won. She was awarded the Miss Texas Jr. High this past December because of her dedication and success to the pageants and has only been competing for a year, definitely a big accomplishment for this young lady.


A huge part of her success also comes from the fact that she does Community work in both Cameron and Hidalgo Counties. As I said before, she sets her sights on something and goes after it whole-heartedly. How many teenagers in this day and age help our community in that manner?

As much as I would like to continue to brag about Laurisa and all of her accomplishments it is difficult not to mention where she acquired those traits. After spending some time with their mother, I quickly had an answer to that question. The Judge. The support she has from her mother is unbelievable. Judge Laura Betancourt not only juggles a packed courtroom during the day she also juggles the numerous after school activities that her daughters are involved in. Whether it is golf, soccer, volleyball, basketball practices or even girl scouts her mom is there to take them wherever they need to go. Both of them. Which leads me to my next segment, Laurisa is a twin. Yes, that’s right she has a twin sister named Lauren.

“These two sisters obviously have inherited these traits from their mother whose presence also displays confidence and self-assurance.”

Lauren is not so different than her sister, although she attends Stillman Middle School, and on the Honor Roll as well. Equally as beautiful, Lauren chose not to do the pageant scene, she is equally as active in sports, the only difference being is that she is more the student athlete of the family. She loves sports, especially golf. Although her sister indulges in sports as well it is the clear choice for Lauren. She loves to be on the course swinging that club, spiking the volleyball or kicking a soccer ball. The one thing that the girls really have a passion for is Photography. Both sisters and their friends really enjoy taking pictures.


With the same confidence and aura as the other women in her family, Lauren also lights up a room with just a smile and a twinkle in her eye that people cannot ignore. These two sisters obviously have inherited these traits from their mother whose presence also displays confidence and self-assurance. These three women will one day be a force to be reckoned with in Cameron County. Judge Laura Betancourt is paving the way for her daughters to one day be as accomplished as she already is. Having had a very successful career as an attorney and now a County Court at Law Judge she displays what her daughters one day hope and pray they will also have.

Integrity, Strength, and of course, Family.


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