By Joe Fitzgerald ‘19

Those who have never experienced the culture at Brother Rice will never be able to relate to my feelings about this school. In the old, worn out parts of the building, lies something extremely special – a home away from home. A place where someone like me can come to realize all of the dreams I have set for myself.

What separates a house from a home? A house is just a building, a structure made of wood, metal, brick, etc. On the other hand, a home is something a lot more exceptional.

A home is a place full of life. There is no happiness associated with a certain structure or blueprint. The happiness lies within the memories that come along with it, much like a scent that conjures up memories, both good or bad. It serves as a reminder of comforting times, both sweet and sad.

There have been days for me at Brother Rice where I just wanted to go home, but terrible days are needed for us to enjoy the good ones. Terrible days make the great ones that much sweeter.

Brother Rice is so special because the good times always outweigh the bad. The people in this building have gone above and beyond to help me develop into the best version of myself.

Whether it’s a terrible grade or underachieving season, the Brother Rice community has always been there to pick me up when I’m down.

From the faculty, to the coaches, to my friends, I honestly don’t think I have ever gone a day where I’ve regretted attending Brother Rice. The smiles, the tears and the hysterical laughing have all molded me into the young man I am today.

Walking through the halls I feel a certain peace. A peace I know I will always carry with me, no matter the situation. A peace that stands tall in both triumph and tragedy.

Looking at old pictures in my phone or listening to stories from my time here helps lighten my mood when times get tough and puts a smile on my face when times are simple.

All things must come to an end at one point or another, and unfortunately my time here at 99th and Pulaski is quickly coming to an end. Each month, each week and each day that has gone by reminds me how thankful I am to be able to reap the benefits of such an amazing place.

Although my time at Rice is coming to an end, the one thing I will always have is the memories – memories so strong I’ll be forced to smile and thank God for the path he has chosen to lead me. It is without a doubt going to be difficult to leave, but now it’s the next generation’s turn to experience what I had the privilege to experience.

In the end, the building at Brother Rice isn’t special. What sets this building apart is the people, the good times and the memories that will forever be engraved in the halls of Brother Rice.