By Andy Ju

There is something peculiar about how relationships are formed; it always feels that the most meaningful interactions and friendships arise when we least expect it. Going into Hillside to photograph the IB program for the first time, I thought I knew what type of subjects and topics I wanted to cover. I wanted stock photos of studious students handling lab equipment, a defining interaction between a student and I that would cement a life-long friendship, you know, the stuff of tear-jerking movies.

Instead, I met some awesome people who, as corny as this sounds, surpassed all my expectations. I met students like Josephus and Elijah, who leave me questioning why I was such a passionless and uninspired vegetable in high school. I met teachers and faculty like Ms. McKoy and Ms. Amihere who showed me what having a good relationship with faculty feels like. I wish this photographic essay could do these folks justice, but it can't - there isn't a tear-jerking movie that could. Because those people on screen are just characters, but these students, teachers, and faculty at Hillside? They're the best of real life.

Wishing YOU ALL, the best!