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Dear Saint Patrick – Jack Perez ’21

Dear Saint Patrick,

Everyone says high school flies by. That could not be more true, but despite these last four years being extremely quick, they were also amazing. Whether it was the little things like talking about sports in Dr. Iliff’s classroom before school, or the big things like a basketball game against Notre Dame, I have loved every minute of my St. Patrick experience. Choosing to go to St. Patrick is the best decision I have ever made, and I am very grateful that my parents have given me the opportunity to do so. If I could change one thing about my time at St. Patrick, I would not change a thing.

The first thing you hear when you step into St. Patrick is brotherhood. The brotherhood is all about being there for each other and supporting one another. It’s about knowing that you are surrounded by guys who will be there to pick you up whenever you need them and being willing to do the same for them. The brotherhood also does not end with the people who are in school, but it continues with everyone who has ever gone to St. Patrick. Whenever I tell an alum that I go to St. Patrick, their eyes light up and they always want to talk about it. They always ask, “Is Dr. Schmidt still there?” When I reply “yes” they always respond, “Oh he’ll remember me.” Things like that show me that there is an extensive network of people who I am connected with because of the special brotherhood that I am a part of.

St. Patrick has not only given me the opportunity to further my academic career, but also to continue my athletic career. I have played volleyball since I was in 5th grade, and I have continued to do so throughout high school. I remember the excitement when we won our first game freshman year against Whitney Young, and the anticipation leading up to the Leyden game sophomore year. Unfortunately, during that Leyden game, I suffered a season ending injury, and COVID-19 cost us our junior season. Thankfully, it looks like the misfortunes are in the past, and we have started our season this year. I feel like we have a very talented team coming together, and I am very excited to see what we can do. I have had some fantastic coaches in Joel, Gerry, Alex, and Dylan, and I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me. I have also met some of my best friends through volleyball and I am so grateful to have had this experience.

The most valuable lesson I have learned at St. Patrick is the importance of helping people in need. Helping others out with small things can make a big difference. While at St. Patrick, I have volunteered at events such as mass setups and Open Houses. Through these experiences, I have learned that other people truly appreciate help when they need it. If I have nothing else to do, why not do something that will help someone else? Experiences like this have shown me the importance of volunteerism, and I plan on continuing to help people when I can in the future.

The last four years have truly been the best years of my life. I have learned so much and met so many great people. The memories I have made at the corner of Austin and Belmont are ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life. St. Patrick has shaped me into the man I am today, and I feel very prepared for the next phase of my life. Go Rocks!

With gratitude,

Jack Perez ’21

To read more letters from the Class of 2021, click here.

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