One Year Later: How Amish Teens Decided

Although Lena dressed in Amish clothes, underneath her simple dress and white bonnet she wore a T-shirt and blue jeans. "Well, my dream right now is to leave the Amish and do what I want to," she told Schadler at the time. "I want to do a lot of stuff, and just go out and have freedom for a while, complete freedom."

Lena's act of rebellion was that she planned to get her GED -- a full high school diploma. The Amish traditionally only go to school through eighth grade because they believe that life experience trumps formal education and that young people should apprentice to learn the basic skills needed to make a living.

When ABC News first spoke with him, Nelson, who turns 20 today, drove a souped-up buggy, complete with a stereo system, subwoofers and an iPod charger.

He laughingly called himself a "high-tech Amish." But he also said he is not much different from the generations before him. "It seems like every generation takes it a little further and a little further," he said. "My grandpa told me when he was my age, they had a little radio, but it was a real old type and they still had to crank it to get music out of it."

Harley, 19 at the time, already had left his community when Schadler first spoke with him. He had set out with the clothes on his back and $21 in his pocket. When he first spoke with ABC News, he admitted no second thoughts. "Some people can take it, and some of them can't," he said. "For me, it's like, my best choice I ever made."

Harley had tried to maintain a relationship with his family, he said, but his parents didn't want him to visit very often, as they were afraid he would be a bad influence on his 12 younger siblings.

"My one little brother, he was about a year old when I left," Harley recalled. "Every time I'd come home and I'd walk in the door, he'd run up yelling my name. 'You going to stay at home this time?' And I tell him, 'No.'

"When I first left the Amish, I missed my family like very bad," he said at the time, adding that he still drove by his family's home sometimes. "I try and stay away so to respect mom and dad. They're ... they're disappointed in me."

All the teenagers had to decide for themselves if those family bonds were enough to keep them in the community.

"Basically, the reason I'm staying is my family right now, at home. I know I'd miss them and they'd miss me," Nelson said last summer. "I just like the lifestyle, it's a simple life. Work hard, play hard, it's just fun."

Where They Are Now: an Update

Each of the four youths profiled by ABC News last summer has altered his or her course, some turning back toward the community they know best, others looking farther afield.

Self-proclaimed bachelor and captain of the road Harley, now 21, realized his dream of being a truck driver. But after seven months on the road, he became so homesick that he decided to give the Amish life another try.

"I just decided to come home and try to live the Amish life again. ... Life without family sucks," he told ABC News.

He's now dating an Amish girl and plans to be baptized into the Amish faith in the spring.

Two weeks after the "Primetime" program aired last year, Lena, now 18, moved in with her boyfriend, Ruben, in a house a few miles down the road from her mother. She no longer rides in a horse and buggy. She has traded it in for a red sports car.

"I never really imagined I'd actually drive but I like it now. ... Felt like I got freedom," she said.

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