Abigail Hendren

Abigail Hendren, Editor-in-Chief

So, I really procrastinated writing this article. I honestly think I’ve been dreading it since the day that we published last year’s Editors-in-Chief farewell. And this entire year, I haven’t been able to figure out why I’ve been dreading it so much. But recently, I’ve realized that it’s because this article–right here–is my formal goodbye to Lamplighter as Editor-in-Chief.

Because regardless of every snide remark I made to you guys, or every time one of you caught me asking myself why I got myself into this, I have and will love my experience in Lamplighter these past few years endlessly.

As a freshman, I was convinced that there was no other option for me other than to graduate early and get out of Dunbar as soon as possible. School felt incredibly pointless to me and I felt as if I had no reason to go. I lacked a purpose– a reason to want to do well. Now, in my final days of being a student at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, I am absolutely in awe of the overwhelming love and attachment that I’ve developed for this school. Because that’s what Lamplighter gave me–as soon as I joined the staff, I found that driving force that I needed to make my experience here incredible. The reason for me to want to get up every day and do better, and to cherish the time I have here.

I won’t lie and say that I loved every second of it. We all know this has been a tough year and frustration has been visible in each of us at times. But I will say that I am amazed at how privileged I am to have been a part of this crazy, unique, and soo soo important organization. So thank you in general, to Lamplighter, for being the most diverse, hard-working, and in my opinion, important organization in the school.

The relationships I’ve formed here are truly ones I’ll never forget. Santi and Cristina, thank you for being my best friends and partners in crime in this for the past two years, from being the three musketeers to editors, I’ve enjoyed every second with you two. Yousef, thank you for allowing me to throw you into the deep end this year and force you to join our little family, simply because I assume you know everything. Also thank you to YouTube, for ensuring that Yousef could figure out all of the things I asked him to do.

To Julia and RORO, for being my pension pals and working and putting up with me through every emotion that comes along with a grueling piece such as that one. To Katherine for sitting with me through every painful moment of my common app, and also for “bopping” with me always. To Mercedes, for being the literal embodiment of our perfect human resources department. To Remy, for surprising me every day with the immense amount of potential you have yourself and bring out in other people. Matthew and Olivia, for somehow handling being thrown into our crazy editorial board mid-year and dealing with me forcing you all into being even more amazing and hardworking than you already are.

Kaden, for always joking with me and laughing instead of getting angry whenever I’m being hard to deal with, and also for letting me sleep on you our entire red-eye flight home from San Francisco. And Edith, because even though we beefed rather often, we always managed to get over it, and you never failed to surprise me with how much determination, passion, and resilience you hold. I’m unbelievably proud to call all of you my friends.

Sharon, I excluded you from this group because you became more than a friend to me. We promised each other at last year’s ceremony that we would always love each other, and not be fake in how we cared for each other, and that’s what we did. We became our own little family, some days we didn’t even have to speak to know what was going on and get the job done.

And last but not least, Mrs. Turner. Through all of the ups and downs that I and everyone else experienced this year, you were the one thing that remained constant and steady. You allowed Lamplighter to truly be a home for all of us and especially myself by opening your arms and accepting us as your children. I feel ridiculously blessed to have such an amazing person come into my life, finally tap into the potential I held, and show me what I wanted to do with my life, all the while trying to keep up with your own life. I truly could not be more grateful to have had you as my school mom, and my primary role model. I can’t wait one day to be one of the kids that you brag on to all of your new students, and I’ll hopefully make you proud.

And lastly, I just wanted to say good luck to next year’s editorial board. You can ask any current member, we all had many hopes and plans for this year, and promises that we would “never be like the ones before us,” but I hope that we have set a solid foundation for you guys to grow even more than you, or any of us, could imagine. Good Luck.

I love you all, thank you so much for being the highlight of my high school career. Now let’s get cracking. 🙂

Signing off as your EIC for the last time,

Abigail Hendren