Lamplighter holds a special place in my heart. The impact it had on my experience at Dunbar can’t ever be fully expressed.
I remember my first time hearing about Lamplighter. It was my freshman year, and my friend Caroline was telling me about a class she was taking called Broadcast Journalism. Being curious, I decided to sign up for it my sophomore year. This was the same year Lamplighter took over WPLD. From the beginning, everyone was so welcoming, and working on WPLD became something I grew to love.
The very first segment that I ever worked on was a football segment. That was the very first time I ever recorded anything, and I even got complimented on my b-roll! That experience was exciting for me, and I met Mercedes Adams, one of my best friends, because of that experience.
I started off editing segments. I didn’t know how to edit at first, but I was determined to learn and to get better. I once stayed after school until 9 p.m. to learn how to edit from Rain Fisher who was the broadcast editor my sophomore year. It was the first time I ever did anything like that, and I’ve been editing segments ever since.
Lamplighter became my favorite part of school pretty quickly, and I wanted to share the fun with my other friends. I practically begged them to join. I’ll admit, I was relentless about it. I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. That’s when Vicky Chen, my sister, and Katherine Lin, my best friend since we were little, decided to join. Lamplighter wouldn’t be the same without them.
You see, Lamplighter is special. It has this crazy ability to bring people together. Through Lamplighter, I’ve met so many amazing people and made friendships that will last a lifetime. Without Lamplighter, I never would’ve met Edith Cruz or Kaden Gaylord, who along with those I’ve already named, are some of my very best friends. Thanks to Lamplighter, I got to meet the people that made high school so memorable.
With such a great community, we were bound to come up with some great ideas. Now I wouldn’t say I created Geek Squad, but I think I helped make it what it is today. I hope Geek Squad continues entertaining everyone long after I graduate. I became close with Jack Stokley my first year with Lamplighter and because of that, I helped him create Geek Squad my junior year. I was basically the cameraman. When I was still learning the basics, Jack guided me and helped me improve a lot. I always saw him as a mentor, because I knew he would always be there for me if I ever needed help.
And let’s not forget Sports Boys. Now I can’t say I created Sports Boys either because Kaden will get mad, butttt…I helped Sports Boys become what it is now. Sports Boys combined the laid back with the funny, and they never failed to make us happy. I gotta admit, I miss the old sports boys. I got pretty close to them when I was their maestro leader last year, and after filming for them for a while, we became really good friends. Let’s hope Mike Rosen, Gbutue Vorkpor, and Matt Jones are having as much fun in college as I had with them at Dunbar.
I’m really glad that I got the opportunity to be Sigma maestro leader last year. Everyone worked really hard and so well together that we won story of the week for a month straight! Katherine always says #teamalphaforthewin but honestly Sigma always and will be the best team. #sigmasthebest! And I think Yousef Agoub, this year’s Sigma maestro leader, can agree on that one with me.
I going to be real with everyone, last year I didn’t even think about applying for the Editor-in-Chief position but with all the editors, friends, and Mrs. Turner pushing me, I decided to apply for the position, which I’m really glad I did. The past and present staff of Lamplighter are my family.
I’ve been with Lamplighter for three years now: that’s 618 blocks and 55,620 minutes in room 203, not including the extra time I’ve put in during and after school. You could say Lamplighter’s my second home. And that home wouldn’t be the same without Mrs. Turner, my school mom. I appreciate all she’s done for me, and how she encouraged me throughout my years in Lamplighter. She taught me so much and put so much effort into showing me my strengths and weaknesses, and even though I don’t say this as much as I should, “Thank You, Mrs. Turner! I’m gonna miss you and all the good time we’ve had. Lamplighter wouldn’t be what it is without you.”
I’ve gotten to do so many things around the school like senior awards night, pep rallies, the lip-dub last year, using the video board at games, and covering events. So many things I enjoyed, and so many things I will miss. They made me appreciate Dunbar for what it is. Lamplighter made me become deeply connected to the Dunbar community, and being on staff raised my school spirit.
And as I pass the torch to the next editors, I ask them to create their own memories of Lamplighter. I hope that they all make new friends through Lamplighter and share new experiences with them. I hope they meet their own version of Jack, Abby and the Sports Boys, and anyone else that makes their time here worthwhile.
And in the end, I hope next year’s staff finds a home in Lamplighter just as I did.
And I just want to say this one last time…Well, maybe not the last time, but…”Love you guys!”