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The LEAP Student Blog

Kelly Chen, Foster HS: "Dear Foster"

Author:Kelly Chen
League:South Puget Sound

Dear Foster

Dear Foster,

Although I have enjoyed my time with you I must say that this relationship is coming to an end. It was a wonderful four years, filled with some of the best and worst moments of my life.

I remember when we first met, I was just a freshman. Nerves don’t even describe the amount of anxiety and uncertainty I had. You had a huge reputation. People would call you “ghetto”, “bad”, and nothing close to perfection. It didn’t seem like you or the people around you cared at all. I remember being so lost. Yet I took a chance to get to know you: I ran for class office, I ran for cross, and I even joined clubs. I got to know you more. Your favorite color was purple. Your spirit animal was a bulldog. You loved culture and diversity. You had friends from all classes which I got to meet. Your motto was “it's a great day to be a bulldog”. I remember my first homecoming with you was so stressful, but I wouldn’t trade those friday night lights for anything. I can still smell the hot chocolate and burgers on the grill when I think of you now. I also remember tolo, where I helped you plan it and that was worth every second I spent. Next came prom, graduation, then the last day we would see each other. It was summer break and I knew I was going to see you again, but I didn’t realize how excited I would be to.

My sophomore year with you was maybe the most memorable one. I shared many laughs, victories, and joy with you. I started to love you. Loved how festive you were during homecoming. Loved how you made everyone felt represented and included. Loved that you made me feel like I could do anything, conquer everything, and be powerful. I devoted my time and energy to you, creating many memories. I was a class officer, my class won homecoming, I went to districts for cross, and I competed again in robotics. And you kept pushing me to do better. So I joined cheer, more clubs, and coordinated events. I felt powerful, but also overwhelmed.

Now Junior year was not the best for me. I wanted a break and thought I was better off with Highline. I still tried my best to be connected with you, I still did sports and clubs yet it never felt the same as being there with you.  I didn’t realize it but I did miss you. I missed being an officer. I missed talking to the teachers you knew. I missed watching assemblies with you. I missed feeling at home and the spirit we shared. There had been a sense of pride and fun that was missing when you weren’t in my life.

I am happy that we made up for my Senior year. Although you still struggle with many adversities, I can see you have grown so much with my time with you. You are not “ghetto” or “bad”, but you are not perfect either. You are special. There is love for you, by not only me but many others too.  So thank you for being the rock on the sidewalk that we paint. Thank you for being the cultural and homecoming assemblies I look forward to every year. Thank you for letting me be a dual athlete in cheer and cross. Thank you for letting me embrace my passion for STEM in robotics. Thank you for all the teachers, staff, classmates, and friends you introduced me to. Thank you for all the late night study sessions and sporting events. Thank you for all the theatre, band, and choir concerts. Thank you for all of the traditions, old and new. Thank you for everything you taught me about being a student. An athlete. A club member. An officer. A leader. A friend. A person. A bulldog. I will never forget that, “it is a great day to be a bulldog.”



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