The Outsiders: Teens Caught Between Freedom and Faith

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

An hour buggy ride down the road from Lena, 18-year-old Nelson drives a souped up buggy, complete with a stereo system, subwoofers and a iPod charger.

He laughingly calls himself a "hi-tech Amish," but even so, Nelson says he is not much different then the generations before him. "It seems like every generation takes it a little further and a little further. 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."

19-year-old Harley knows that life outside the Amish community isn't for everyone. He left the Amish with just the clothes on his back and $21 in his pocket.

"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 tries to maintain a relationship with his family but said his parents don't want him to visit very often, as they are afraid he'll be a bad influence on his 11 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, and he still drives by his family's home sometimes.

"I try and stay away so to respect mom and dad," he said. "They're, they're disappointed in me."

According to studies done by Thomas J. Meyers, a sociology professor at Goshen College in Indiana, more than 80 percent of Amish youth eventually join the church.

All the teenagers ABC News followed will have to decide for themselves if those family bonds are 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. "I just like the lifestyle, it's a simple life. Work hard, play hard, it's just fun."

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