By Mrs. Conroy & Dr. Mohseni
A legacy is something we leave behind for others after we’ve gone. In this special senior issue, the writers of this paper were charged with reflecting on their high school legacy. They considered how they have grown throughout high school as a result of their peers, teachers, and friends. No doubt they created many memories during their time at East, and this special issue is a tribute to that.
We have been fortunate to work with an incredibly motivated, thoughtful, and inquisitive group of scholars this year as we explored the field of Journalism and issues facing our world today. It has been an honor watching them grow and blossom into mature and thoughtful young adults. It is through their hard work and productive curiosity that we have been able to produce this newspaper for you to enjoy.
Here’s to the class of 2023 and the ups and down on the miraculous journey that brought you to this place and all the adventures that lie ahead. May you continue to build your legacy for the good of those around you.
By Mo’Asia Ferrell
Dear East High School,
As I prepare to graduate and bid farewell to this cherished chapter of my life, I am filled with a mixture of emotions. Reflecting on my time here at East High, I am immensely grateful for the experiences, friendships, and personal growth I have gained over the years. It is my hope that the legacy I leave behind will inspire others and serve as a reminder of the power of determination, kindness, and resilience.
When I first stepped foot onto this campus, I was a timid junior, unsure of my place in this bustling sea of students. However, East High embraced me with open arms, providing a nurturing environment where I felt encouraged to explore and grow. From the passionate teachers who imparted knowledge and ignited my curiosity to the friends who became my second family, each person I encountered played a significant role in shaping the person I am today.
To my dear friends, thank you for the countless laughs, shared moments, and unwavering support. You have been my pillars of strength and have shown me the beauty of sisterhood and loyalty. May our memories continue to shine brightly in our hearts as we embark on our individual journeys.
To the exceptional teachers who believed in me even when I doubted myself, your dedication and commitment to our education have not gone unnoticed. Your enthusiasm and guidance have empowered me to overcome challenges and strive for excellence. I am forever grateful for the knowledge and life lessons you imparted upon me.
East High School, you have been my home away from home, a sanctuary of growth, and a springboard for my dreams. I have been fortunate to be a part of a community that fosters brilliance, encourages creativity, and celebrates diversity. I hope that my legacy here will inspire future students to embrace their unique passions, to pursue their goals fearlessly, and to always treat one another with kindness and respect.
As I look towards the future, I carry with me the invaluable lessons and memories I have gathered at East High. I am excited to embark on new adventures, armed with the confidence and skills nurtured within these walls. I will forever cherish my time here and the profound impact it has had on my life.
Thank you, East High School, for providing me with a platform to grow, learn, and thrive. I leave with a grateful heart and a commitment to make a positive difference in the world, just as you have done for me. I want to give a very personal special thanks to these individuals: Ms. Clancy, Dr. Mohseni, Ms. Conroy, Ms. Yetter, Ms. Andler, Mr. Platt, Mr. Vann, Ms. Price, Ms. Beaty-Gladney, Mr. Robinson, Missy and Perez, Ms. Blocker, Ms. Slakes, Ms. Spano, Ms. Haefner, My coaching staff from track and Mrs. Gotham.
With heartfelt gratitude,
By Ayden Hodge
First and foremost, you are my brother; if I could tell anyone what I'm going to tell you, I hope that you would listen and heed it most. Not because you need it, but because I wish someone reminded me. We’re taught as kids that we have to be strong because we are men. If that weren't enough Black men in America. I was once told that my skin would bear its blessings but also its fair share of burdens. I can attest to having seen both. I pray you never do but I know you’ll see it too. If there’s one thing you walk away hearing, I want it to be Keep your head up. I can’t ask you to do nothing about what you see but before you do lean on me and those around you.
Between me and you, there will be those who think “How does it feel to be a problem?”; make no mistake they are referring to your skin and not you as a person. If they even tried anyone could see how hard you work for everything and anything. They are the truly ignorant ones. W.E.B. DuBois said it best: “in this American world, -a world which yields him no true self-consciousness” (from The Souls of Black Folk). My interpretation being, there will be people who deny you. They will deny you any awareness of yourself, but keep your head up.
When you can, take the high road. Many will use you to prove their ignorant points. They’ll agitate you, antagonize and alienate all for a response. They’ll hide their hands then throw stones, I was blessed with that knowledge from my father but now I leave it to you. To these people James Baldwin once said “...neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know.” I hope this gives you some perspective to take the high road. Remember this I’ll always have your back.
Finally work and don’t stop working. Grind, build and keep building; let nothing stand in your way as you achieve more than the people who would bet against you. Booker T. Washington said, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” I'm giving this phrase new meaning, tap into what you love. Use that to find the best path forward.
By Terreil Colon
I simply never know the answer to the question of who or what I am when it is posed to me. Because the response I was seeking never occurred to me, I always respond with "I don't know" or "I'm just funny." I can now answer that question because my time at East High School has changed the way I see myself.
Now initially when I first came to East I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t think I would make friends so I pushed my mindset into an introverted state. I told myself, “If I back away from people I will be okay and get through the year.” So, because of this I was very quiet the first couple days with my best friend of 5 years alongside me. We never talked to anyone unless we were approached first. I just genuinely thought that was a better way of going about making friends instead of me having to make the first move with someone else. So, in short, I was very introverted and kept to myself the starting point of school.
However, over time and with some success, I began to make new friends and develop friendships, some of which were with faculty members. In short, I fell in love with this school and everything it has to offer. I often imagine what it would have been like if I had attended this school for my seventh-grade year. Furthermore, I would have become the person I am today if I had come here in the seventh grade. I've changed and am no longer as introverted. It's not anything I could never imagine myself doing before, but now I even approach strangers if I feel comfortable enough. I went so far as to participate in activities that encouraged me to interact with others more.
In conclusion, I'm glad I chose East as a school from which to graduate since my time here has improved me. I no longer recognize the person I was when I started, but I'm not ashamed of it, and you should never be. It’s all part of the journey forward.
By Isaiah Braden
Throughout the past 5 years, East High school has made a big contribution to where I am now in life. This starts from giving teachers a hard time from 7th through 9th grade, to being the student I am today. Many teachers at East constantly recognize my potential and continuously push me to keep working hard to reach my goals and much more.
Specifically, I would like to thank a few of my teachers and staff who have helped me the most: Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Fields, Chef Marwan, Mrs. Gross, Mr. Vann, and Mrs. Blocker. Not only have these people pushed me to keep going through hard times but they would give me straight up advice and facts about what things I needed to work on. I have made many memories at East, met new people, made new connections, and most importantly learned new things. Although many people dread being in high school, as soon as they leave some wish it could all come back just to relive it and do it the correct way. May the CO’23 legacy make an impact on scholars to come.
By Josh Wilson
My time at East was difficult because I was in sixth grade when I first started. I came out of a private school, so a public school was very different. But there was a teacher that helped me mature into the young man I am today. His name is Chris Fields. From 6th to 7th grade he taught me the importance of education. Although I am struggling now I still remember what he told me “Try and fail but don’t fail to try.” At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about but now I do. He was saying you should always try because if you try something and fail that shows you want to do it.
The way I tried and failed was when we were in quarantine and I couldn’t see anyone so I was trying and failing to get through the class work at home. I made it because I remembered what he told me back in 6th and 7th grade. I also tried and failed during my junior year at East because I was smoking at the time so that was difficult for me but I made it through and now I’m on track to graduate and go to college. He also said, “Practice makes permanent, not perfect because nobody is perfect but if you practice something you love you will have the muscle memory to keep doing it.” Now I am in 12th grade on my way to graduate, and going to college because without Mr. Fields I would be struggling. However, although I had some hardships I believe I can make it on my terms.
By Eugene Barnes
When I first started school here at east high I went into school with a positive attitude. If you asked me right now what my feeling about East is, I still think of East positively, but there are now more negatives associated with this place than positives. Mrs. Tisa, Mrs. Conroy, and Dr. Mohseni all have had a lasting impact on me as a student and as a person. All three of them taught me the importance of being active and getting my schoolwork done. Today on the last day of school I am thinking back on my high school experience. High school for me was a time when I learned a lot about myself and who I am and what I want to do after school. When I leave I'm going to college for psychology and hope to come back to the East and be a school counselor.
By Luanys Rivera
There is a lot to say but where should I start? First and foremost, high school taught me a lot of valuable lessons. Although I have faced many challenges and experienced ups and downs, learning more about myself has been the most rewarding experience.
One thing I gained from my experience was to try new things, to believe in myself, and to be patient. What I mean by patient is by being understanding with myself when I am facing difficulties; senior year was the year that taught me THIS lesson. While in the waiting season, and no matter how long it took, I kept in mind that good things will come. For example, while waiting on my college acceptance letters, it took a lot of patience, and I did not get accepted into my dream school for a good reason but turns out there's always a different alternative. I ended up going to Niagara University, and like their small community. I look forward to my journey even more and finding out what direction I am headed. As I always say “expect the unexpected,” and “get comfortable with the uncomfortable,” which is how I was able to try new things. Getting myself out of my comfort zone definitely helped with my confidence. I did this with every program and event I participated in, and whether that also includes me writing my senior legacy.
I am writing this to myself. I want my future self to know that whatever types of trials and tribulations she will face, as long as I carry my faith, I can get through anything and accomplish anything I desire. Sometimes things do not always go as planned but to look at it in a positive way, it is even more exciting when you do not know what comes next.
I hope that whoever is also reading this, that they keep that in mind too. Perfection also does not exist, but you have choices to make and as graduating seniors, you might feel pressured to not know where you want to go or what to do, just know that you do not need an answer right now, just wait for it. “This isn't the time to make hard and fast decisions; this is a time to make mistakes” - From a movie, if you know you know.
Just wanted to lastly thank all of the wonderful people in my life and teachers that pushed me into becoming who I am today, and to yet be better. I strive to be the person I want to be and to accomplish all of my goals because of my family. Mrs. Cook has been one of the best teachers I will ever have. I thank her for her support and encouragement to pursue a career in the medical field. Anyway, I am off to new beginnings, and I trust the next chapter because I know the author.
By Kani McNeil
While here, I have seen many faces, and have heard many stories. These last four years have been an assortment of adversities and triumphs, Even to this day. However, these past years have taught me many different lessons, and I’d like to tell you some of the most important ones.
Firstly: stay true to yourself, no matter how you change throughout the years. You will change while going through your high school experience. It is a part of life, you’re going to grow, and the people you find will change your perspective. Make sure that you still remember who you are. Whatever it is you enjoy doing, do it. It is your life, your story, and your adventure. Only you can live your life, so make sure you do the things you love while you can.
Secondly: Become stronger than the hills that you will face. Nothing good in life comes without effort. The price could be time, money, peace of mind, or relationships. Hold onto the fact that your track record of surviving bad days is still perfect, and your boat may or may not come in… but your strength will remain.
By CharKendra Harris
As my last year of high school comes close to an end, I appreciate the experience I had at East, the lessons I learned, and the beautiful bonds I created with friends and teachers. I want to personally thank Dr. Mohseni for being there for me every step of the way. She taught me that I am capable of anything and what I could achieve if I were willing to put in the effort. No matter how she felt, not once did she give up on me. Dr. Mohseni’s loving words and kind actions is part of the reason I am where I’m at today. Dr. Mohseni, you made a real difference in my life, and I will never forgot what you have done for me.
I am very grateful for the wonderful support system that I had here at East and the amazing memories I was able to create over the last 6 years.