I know this guy who was painfully shy and he spent most of his days studying, eating junk food, and watching “Beverly Hills 90210.”
It was me.
Then I met Lamar.
I knew there was something special about Lamar the first time I saw him. Most noticeably, he was dressed like a secret agent and leading an enormous “Men in Black” song and dance routine at Tallwood High School’s freshman orientation. He was confident, he was charismatic, he was captivating. I didn’t know him, but I wanted to be like him.
I still do.
We both like to fly under the radar.
Lamar is the most gregarious person I know. He’s also hilarious, and fifteen years later, he still captures my attention. When Lamar walks into a room, you notice. (His bright shirts, loud voice, and enthralling personality are hard to ignore.) He has a heart of gold and spends his workdays serving local kids and communities through various programming activities at YMCAs in the DC area. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people around the world who look up to Lamar, who have been impacted by Lamar, and who call Lamar a hero.
I’m one of them.
Like I said, I was a shy dude back in the day and I was floating through life aimlessly. I met Lamar, he took me under his wing, encouraged me to get involved at school, and taught me what living a passionate and engaging life is all about. Thus, if you think I’m loud and annoying, blame Lamar. This guy had hundreds of friends and thousands of things on his to-do list, but he took the time to mentor me. He changed the entire trajectory of my life. For the better.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. Here’s what others had to say about Lamar:
Cristina F. (@cristinamary): “Lamar is the most resilient person I know, hands down. He has overcome so much, and I attribute that to his natural talents and abilities, which are plentiful. He is a born leader. He is an amazing friend. How long has it been now, 17 years? And NEVER a dull moment. I’m grateful for his loyalty and love. He has made me laugh more times than I can count. He has been at all of my shows, with bells on. So much support! We have seen each other through a lot of trials, tribulations, joys, successes and life lessons. Here’s to 17 more years, my dear friend!”
Amy H. (@AMH5): “Lamar is the true definition of one-of-a-kind. He’s not only my best friend, but the brother I never had. He’s selfless, always knows how to put a smile on your face, full of words of wisdom, he is the guy who will take his shirt off his back for his friends. Anyone who is able to call Lamar their friend should consider themselves lucky. He is one of the few people in my life that I will cherish forever. He’s been a hero to me in more ways than I could ever say. I’m proud to call him my best friend.”
Chad H. (@chadhartigan): “My impression of Lamar in high school was that he had the most school spirit of anyone I knew. He was involved with absolutely everything: school government, theatre, administration, even cheerleading (I think). Now that we’re more than a decade removed from that context, I know that it had nothing to do with school spirit. It was people spirit. Lamar was involved with everything because he loved mingling and working with every type of person. It’s an attitude he brings to his work, his play and his relationships, and it’s infectious.”
In short, Lamar is a fabulous human being, a hilarious person to know, and a faithful friend. Most importantly, Lamar loves Miley Cyrus and he’s a great rapper:
Thank you, Lamar. You make the world a much better place.