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Fighting for her future

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UNIONVILLE - A teen from New Britain is making contacts all over the world - full contacts.

Sixteen-year-old Ceana Rodriguez is junior at New Britain High School and also a top competitor in taekwondo who has just been named to Team USA in the female junior division (15-17-year-olds).

Rodriguez has been practicing Taekwondo for 11 years and now trains with Grand Master Kiye Cho, a two-time world champion and a sixth degree black belt who runs the Olympic Taekwondo Academy in Unionville.

"I'm so fortunate to have the opportunity to represent the U.S.," Rodriguez said. "I feel like I am also representing New Britain."

Cho, Ceana's coach, said while her star student is on the small side -- just five foot four -- she has a drive and competitive spirit needed to fight the good fight.

"She's very aggressive, " Cho said, "Physically, she is good and very smart."

Rodriguez has traveled the world winning numerous gold medals, recently taking the top prize at a prestigious tournament in Korea, her ultimate goal is to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

"That's the dream right now," she said.

Ceana's father, Pablo, a martial artist himself, says it is a fight to fund his daughter's dream but it's a fight that the family will continue, "there is certainly the possibility of her being one of the best in the world... Not only does she fight for the U.S. but she fights for Connecticut, New Britain, and the Rodriguez clan!"

The Rodriguez family has set up a "Dream Fund" to keep Ceana on course to make it to competitions around the world. To find out more click here.