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Alumni spotlight: Kari Warren

Mother, daughter, realtor, East High School booster club member, these are all roles that East High Alumni Kari Warren fills in her daily life. Keep reading to Learn more about Kari warren. 1) Why did you join the booster club?
“I joined because I think it’s important to be involved in your community and I think it’s super important to have groups like this. If people don’t step up to be involved, these types of groups go away. We have an awesome bunch of people in Scarlet Pride who really care about your kids and that made it very easy for me to want to participate. You kids are pretty awesome, and we think you deserve to have nice things. We are trying our best to help the school by providing you with some of those things. We can certainly use more people though! The more people involved, the more we can get done, the more ideas discussed and different points of views to consider. Everyone has something to offer from their own life experiences and that will make any group stronger.” 2)How was your time at East High?
“I loved my time at East. I loved being at a large school. There were so many people with their own unique stories and experiences, and I tried to talk to as many of them as I could. I think I did more talking than studying. I got involved in a few different groups/clubs that taught me some skills I still use today. As far as sports, I did cheer leading, Steppers and I played tennis a couple years. Being a part of those things were some of the best memories I have from East. We had so much fun, and I made friends with people I still talk to now. I’ll be honest, I was never very studious, so I spent some time dreading going, but figured out that school is what you make of it. You spend like seven hours of your day there, so you can either dread going every day and be miserable or look for a way to make the best of it. I chose to make the best of it and am so glad I did. I have so many great memories.” 3)How is East different now from when you were here?
“I would say the main thing that really sticks out to me is the lack of involvement by students these days compared to when I was in the East. We are one of the largest schools and our student participation in sports, clubs, bands, theater, etc is low in comparison to that. Even our student section at the games is small. Our stands used to be much fuller, and trust me, we were not winning the games then either, but we were having fun cheering on our school. Obviously, another big difference is technology is much more commonplace for you kids. 24 years ago, technology wasn’t a major factor. We would use the internet to look up articles for assignments, but that was about it. I think it is pretty cool all the information that you have access to now. You can easily find multiple interviews/articles of a person you are writing a report about and gain info from them directly. You also have more opportunities to further your education while in high school. Kids are graduating with college credits now and that is an amazing thing.” 4)Why did you want to be a realtor?
I have always worked in sales from the time I was 16. I love it. I love getting to know people, finding out their wants/needs and playing matchmaker to find what works best for them. I have always loved houses and actually went to school for marketing and interior design. While there, I interned at a realty office and realized I like selling houses more than I liked decorating them, so real estate was a natural fit for me. As a single mom it also allowed me to make my own hours so I could be present at my kids’ events and to volunteer. That was always nice! 5) What is it like being an East Alumni?
“ I think it is pretty awesome. Like I said, we are one of the largest schools in Des Moines, so you are surrounded by such an eclectic mix of people. You really have a great opportunity to get to know so many people. I run into someone I know from the East all the time. People I went to school with, people that worked there and people that I have gotten to know while my kids have gone there. It’s amazing. The East Side Pride is also super cool. I think that is unique to East grads. We have each other’s backs and love where we come from. We also have the largest Alumni Association. They work hard at raising funds for scholarships for the students. I encourage current students to get involved with them when you graduate to keep the Alumni Association going. Fun Fact: our City’s first female Mayor is an East High Alumni. Just saying’. Some pretty cool people came from East High.”
6)What do you like to do in your free time?
“I like cheering on my kids at their sporting events. I do a lot of volunteering. I love trying new foods and restaurants. I like going to concerts, art shows, different events in the city, visiting with friends, and mostly, I love to just veg out at home and do absolutely nothing.” 7) Anything you’d like to add?
“Enjoy your youth. Be present in it. Try new things, push out of your comfort zone. Join a club or start a club. Play a sport or go to sporting events to cheer on your school’s teams. Be nicer to each other and to yourself. Look for the positives about someone, including yourself. Be a bit more empathetic to those around you. We are all works in progress, and I think it can be a little too easy to judge others, and ourselves. Lift each other up, don’t tear each other down Volunteer. Seriously, I know kids don’t think that sounds fun, honestly give it a try at least once. I started in high school and I’m so glad I did. If you don’t know where to start, ask an adult in your life. I am sure school staff can help you find a good fit. I am happy to help you find something. There is so much to be gained. A sense of accomplishment, self-pride, meeting new people, learning a new skill, hearing other’s stories. You may also find a new passion or career path from it. As you get older, there will be times you won’t find yourself regretting the things you did, but rather the things you didn’t do when you were younger, remember there is a whole group of people right here cheering for you. Whether it’s passing a test you were stressing, beating a personal best, trying something new, accomplishing a goal you set out to do or getting out of bed and making it to school when it was really difficult to do, we are seriously proud of you and we truly hope you find ways to be proud of yourself.”

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