To that very special security guard at Loy Norrix High School:

Every day you would greet every child that walked past you with the brightest smile, saying, “Good Morning, Sweetie, how are you doing this morning?” I always responded, “Good, how are you?” Your words,  “I'm good, have a great day, baby,” would sit upon my heart and mind for the entire day. In my freshman year, it was welcoming and made me feel as if I belonged. High school wouldn’t be as bad as I thought it would and it turned out there were good things at Loy Norrix. 

By Sophomore year, you were the only bright spot of my days. I had fallen into a depression that was affecting me in the worst way possible. I was sleeping less than three hours a day, eating once a day and sometimes not at all, and my schoolwork was taking the biggest hit. I went from carrying a 3.5 GPA or above consistently to a borderline 2.0 GPA in just a few marking periods. The father figure in my life passed away before the end of my freshman year and then my girlfriend broke up with me as school started. Finally, I lost the true love of my life, basketball. I was out of touch with most of my friends, and my family was beyond disappointed in my efforts in school. The one thing I looked forward to every day was our interaction in the tower of Loy Norrix High School.

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As Junior year rolled around and I began to get my groove back, our relationship began to shift. It wasn’t just the nice security guard that smiled and asked me how I was doing every morning, but a kind of school grandmother that I could bond with. I would take the long way back to class after a bathroom break just to stop by and say,  “Hi.” If I was going to stop by McDonald’s for breakfast that morning, I made sure I grabbed you a sausage Mcmuffin Meal with a large orange juice. I would come and spend my entire thirty-minute lunch with you in the tower, rambling on about whatever came to mind. The advancement of our relationship proved to be pivotal in the rest of my time at Loy Norrix High School.

In the wonderful experience that was senior year, I only spent three hours of my day at Loy Norrix. The first part of my day was spent at the Civic Center in downtown Kalamazoo, attending a Radio Broadcasting “Education for Employment” class and the last hour of my day was a free period, as I was dual-enrolled at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, where I took one class a semester. Of course, I enjoyed this schedule and not having to be in the school all day, but things just weren’t the same when I arrived at 10 a.m. compared to 7 a.m. Having your greeting start my day really meant something to me because it set the tone for a great day. 

To the special Security Guard at Loy Norrix in Kalamazoo, keep on being yourself. You never know what a difference you will make in someone else’s life. You made all the difference in mine.

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