I am PROUD of Warren Central. I love the Eastside. However, I often encounter people who just do not understand. Often, I hear comments that disparage the area that I consider my home. I am always told to “not take it personally.” Yet, inevitably, I find myself needing to tell them to understand that it goes much deeper than that.
As I walk through the halls of Warren, my mind is flooded with memories and emotions. My life is so interwoven into this place that I often cannot remember a time without Warren.
The lines between family and friends have long ago blurred. My first memory of Warren Central is when I was five years old, standing in front of what is now the Counseling Services Center waiting to meet my brother’s girlfriend for the first time. Now, years later, she is my sister-in-law and best friend. I remember sitting on the floor in the G-Hallway stairs on the last day of my senior year, crying because I was going to miss this place so much! Four years after that, I returned and have never imagined leaving. Everyday, I pass that spot in the G-Hallway and think, “Wow, they PAY me to do this job.”
Certain areas and events remind me of people that used to inhabit these halls or stories regarding those legends before my time. Some have passed on and others seem to exist still as teenagers in my mind’s eye. I carry so much love for so many that are here and used to be here that sometimes it actually hurts. I believe that I inherited that love from all of the teachers, staff and students that have gone before me.
You see this is my family. Everyone here...they are my people. If I meet a Warren grad, I instantly know that they will “get” me. I know they will be accepting of my loyalty, my love and my deep sense of community that many do not understand.
Being part of the “Eastside Pride” means that you have a sense of family and immense pride in an area of town that many have written off. I believe that we all need that reminder that we have value...we are an integral part of something bigger than ourselves, something that goes beyond what we can give or do for others.
Even after you have graduated and moved on, you are still a special person to someone that remains here. You are an integral part of the growth that occurs. You are a memory, a thought, a laugh or maybe even a tear. You MATTER, not because of what you do ncessarily, but because of who you ARE! Understand that being a Warrior lasts much longer than a mere four years. You are a WARRIOR for LIFE! So, yes, it is personal.