Off Campus

The Junior Profiles are done!


Each spring, the juniors spend six weeks venturing beyond the school community and getting to know an interesting person at work. Last Thursday, they each turned in a seven- to 10-page New Yorker-style profile. The Vanguard asked five students to share excerpts.


Pete Nesbit

Security manager at Fenway Park

The sun sinks behind the iconic ‘Citgo’ sign in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, as Red Sox fans flock to historic Fenway Park for the start of a seemingly promising season. Outside the park, Pete Nesbit scans the crowd, looking for any trouble brewing from rowdy Fenway fans, who suck down Boston Lagers and Italian sausages draped with peppers and onions.


Nico Cargaro

Boxing coach & high school teacher

Nico stands by the alabaster counter, twiddling his thumbs, waiting for his next trainee. He looks down at his feet and gently shakes his head, smiling. He then looks up to the ceiling and points his finger out. “Ya know, my uncle and godfather that kinda helped raise me… he used to always say to me, ‘If there’s one thing you can choose when you wake up, ya know, ya can’t choose your family, ya can’t choose where ya came from, but you can choose your attitude.’ That’s what he always used to say, ‘Choose your attitude…’” Nico pauses and inhales a shallow breath. “So… I choose my attitude. Every mornin’, I choose my attitude.”


Joanne Chang

Owner of Flour Bakery

At four a.m. on Wednesday morning, the lights at the back of Flour Bakery are the only ones illuminating an empty block of Washington Street in the South End of Boston. The smell of warm caramel, melted butter, and semisweet chocolate chips wafts throughout the small café. Tucked behind a counter, almost invisible, Joanne Chang creates mushroom brioche pastries. An early 2000s Indie Rock song radiates from the stereo on a shelf above her. Trays filled with muffins, scones, brioches, and sticky buns surround her, all of which must be prepped, baked, and glazed before 5:45 a.m.   


Armen Ketsoian

Owner of Ares Shoe Repair in Beacon Hill

Armen swings the shoe up by a strap and dangles it in front of his face to examine before plopping it back down on the counter. Moments later, the customer bounces back down the stairs and into the shop. When her foot slides seamlessly under the shoe’s straps, she shrieks and jumps up around, even attempting to embrace Armen from across the counter, to which he replies with a hearty chuckle and a shake of his head.


Father Daniel O’Connell

Priest at St. Bernard in Newton

The cape’s silky material gives it an iridescent sheen. Three gold crosses are embossed down the front of it. He bows his head beneath its weight and lets it hang off of his small frame. Running a hand through a mop of greying strawberry-blond hair, he smiles and breathes deeply. The transformation is complete. As with every Sunday at ten o’clock, Father Dan leaves the peace and quiet of his sacristy to go about the business of saving souls.


You know you’re done with the Junior Profile when…


You can finally close all of the tabs


The TLC from your parents stops, and you have to unload the dishwasher again


You can no longer skip English classes to “see your profile subject”


Teachers give you five tests and quizzes the

following week, even though you’re brain dead


You can finally order a grande instead of a venti

coffee at Starbucks


Stress dreams about a printer jam on Friday morning finally stop

Mom or Dad actually goes to bed after you
You realize you miss talking to your subject after all

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