Jared Diaz: a pretty interesting guy


Photo by Leslie Fireman

Senior Jared Diaz with his cross country teammates in the fall.

By Alex Carranza, Reporter

Senior Jared Diaz is an opinionated man, never afraid to speak his mind. Whether it is politics or the school staff, there is nothing the man will not speak out against if he disagrees with the situation at hand. He is also a man of drive, and is currently involved in track and field. Jared is real, and it is easy to see that when speaking to him. There is no false facade, nor an exaggerated personality. Nothing about him is deceptive. What you see is what you get when it comes to Jared, and that is what I find to be most admirable about him.

After a couple of days of asking Jared when he would like to be interviewed and plenty of “whenevers” later, I was finally given a chance to sit with him and conduct the interview in the middle of the day on March 15. We handed our IDs to the librarian and used one of the rooms in the back of the LRC. As we headed into the room, the two of us began talking about the interview that was going to happen and the whole process. Jared is somebody I have known for a while, so after awkwardly giggling like children for a few minutes and several failed attempts to start the interview, we finally were able to compose ourselves and begin.

Jared with friends Noah Herbst (left) and Mariana Alfaro (right) following a track meet. (Photo by Lifetouch)

After growing up in West Chicago, Illinois, Jared initially did not have much to say about his childhood, except for one very compelling story about the favorite gift he has ever received – that led to other core childhood memories. Once, on his tenth birthday, he was gifted a 2014 World Cup-themed soccer ball from his dad. That ball is his all-time favorite birthday gift, and although it was not the most expensive gift ever, it was a present that left a large impact on his life. He was excited to bring the ball to recess to play with his friends, and he remembers astonishing them with the fact that he had a World Cup soccer ball.

“I thought it was nice because looking back, it probably helped me fit in or something,” said Jared. He thanks the gift for being part of the reason why he was able to make so many friends growing up, and his connection with his fellow classmates.

His tone was a little more serious when telling the story, and he began to start spacing out when speaking. It was evident he was reminiscing deeply about this particular childhood memory, so it must have been important to him. 

Moving on to Jared’s modern life, we switched gears to the subject of track

“Jared is a tough kid and a strong leader. He is a great WEGO kid who we can all be proud of,” said Jared’s track coach, Tyler Belding. 

Jared did not look nor seem too thrilled about the subject, but his description of the sport and its schedules and processes was thorough, so there was definitely some passion sprinkled throughout his words. 

“I started track when I was in seventh grade, and eighth grade is when I joined cross country,” said Jared, who recommends track more than cross country, mainly for fun. “Most people don’t want to run long distance because it’s long distance, you know? It takes a lot of time. You can run like four miles every day for a week and not see any progress sometimes. Nobody really wants to do that. But if you are very serious about running, join cross country first because it gives you a sense of community and a lot of the Varsity runners, you’re gonna be around them all year round.” 

Jared has been consistent with his effort, and currently loves being part of the team. He enjoys it so much that, although he has been part of the sport for so many years, he in no way is tired of it or bored. 

“I remember one time in middle school, Jared was excited to just run the mile. He really always did enjoy running,” said senior Juan Vargas, an old friend of Jared’s. 

Jared sprints forward in a recent track competition. (Photo by Lifetouch)

Jared does not currently see track as a top priority, though, since he is almost finished with high school. He knows track is not a sport he wants to participate in during college so for now, track is something to keep him healthy. He plans to keep running, but not competitively. 

Jared truly is not very prideful about his school, but there are some fun opinions he expresses on the many different aspects of West Chicago Community High School.

I looked to obtain his opinion on the school mascot, and honestly, he did not seem to really care all that much.

“The Wildcat guy is kind of dope, I guess, I don’t know who’s inside the suit. He or she hasn’t been out here as much,” said Jared. Despite his lack of interest in the subject, he did recommend making the mascot cartoonish at one point.

A photo of Jared’s lunch, which he described as “nasty.” (Photo courtesy of Jared Diaz)

Physical aspects of the school could use work too, and Jared is vocal about that as well. I asked him what he thought of the subject at hand and he had trouble thinking of anything that could be improved on besides the relatively newer parts of the school and the library.

Jared said, “The new part of the school, to be honest, it looks kind of lame. You know what they could improve on, taking down the library. Nobody checks these books out, that’s for like, old people. The only young people I see reading books are those anime kids. Just have an anime section for the anime kids and tear down the whole library.”

School lunch is not famous at any educational institution for being good, and Jared takes issue with West Chicago Community High School’s lunch as well. He frequently talks about the quality of the school lunch, and like most people, he doesn’t think it is very good.

“Name one good thing about the school lunch. You can’t,” said Jared, who does appreciate the breakfast, though.

Jared is a Democrat, and stands by his beliefs. He smiled and scoffed when I asked him where he leans politically, although he seemed excited to answer the question. Jared is very far left, and almost entirely disagrees with everything about the far right community and what they stand for.

“Since I’m very far left, when people say they’re conservative, to me, it’s really dumb because to me I see them as if they don’t want anything to change. They complain about everything, too. All sides are the same in that way, I just think they’re less aware of it,” said Jared.

“Jared is a natural leader with exceptional speaking skills and the ability to connect with his peers. He served as a caucus leader of about 30 of his peers in our recent Senior Full Session simulation. His ability to organize, inspire and lead were commendable. Jared is a strong liberal, however, his greatest attribute is his ability to listen to altering viewpoints and then form his own opinions. I have rarely encountered students who genuinely will listen and hear out other views before forming their own views – Jared falls into this select group of students,” said Jared’s American Government teacher John Chisholm.

Jared also has complaints about his fellow Democrats, as well, declaring that they do not seem to care for any actual change. 

Jared said, “I get frustrated with them because it feels like they don’t want any change. They do, but they’re really pessimistic about change.” 

Such statements are barely the tip of the iceberg: Jared has a good deal to say when it comes to politics. His government posts really show his opinionated nature: Jared believes everybody should vote, and he even upholds socialism. 

“Vote when you can vote. Voting is very underrated. Socialism is good. Bernie Sanders is the GOAT,” said Jared.

Another point Jared takes issue with is the school security. He had been waiting for a chance to speak about them and I could see how much he was looking forward to it by the smile that shot up from his face when I asked him if he had any additional issues with the school. 

Jared taking a photo with his friend and track teammate, Rydel Salazar. (Photo courtesy of Jared Diaz)

As I tried to contain my laughter, Jared explained exactly what his issue is with the security in the school. 

“Y’all need to calm down the school security guards. They be following you around for no reason.  Every time somebody enters the bathroom they come inside to make sure you’re not doing stuff, man,” said Jared.

Although Jared does not have the utmost school spirit, nor does he express it, his participation in track and the positive declarations people offered about him suggest otherwise.

English teacher David Jennings said, “Jared is one of my favorite students. He comes off quiet and unassuming, but the truth is, there’s a LOT of deep thought going on beneath the surface of his outwardly calm demeanor. Jared is genuinely one of the funniest, wittiest people I have had the privilege of teaching and getting to know in a classroom context. His razor sharp wit, his humor, and his consistently kind, courteous demeanor make him the sort of student who makes every class he takes a better one for his presence.”

He is rather popular with his peers, and has good relationships with just about everyone, including the teachers. It is easy to see why people find him to be likable: he has the qualities of a good person, and few, if any, of a bad one. He, like every other student at WEGO, is his own unique person. Jared is a good man, and a good friend.