Once a Slicer always a Slicer: Jonah Cedar Class of 2015
The community of La Porte is unique in that it routinely creates amazing and impactful leaders through its schools. In recent years there have been many notable student leaders who have gone above and beyond and found success after high school. A prime example of this trend is that of Jonah Cedar, class of 2015.
Cedar was a strong academic during his years at LPHS, frequently involving himself in upper level and AP classes. His biggest passion, however, was that of the band program. Cedar spent four years in the LPHS band programs, playing is the jazz, pep, and marching bands, as well as spending a few years in the top wind ensemble. He finished out his career by serving as the LPMB’s drum major for the 2015 season.
“I am a person the believes that every part of your story is important…[for me], being a Slicer especially, [has been] the most important part [of my life] so far. I was excited to be a Slicer in the band program. Everyone cared for each other, and [the program] was doing great things. I really wanted to be a part of that,” Cedar said.
In his four years at LPHS, Cedar made many enjoyable memories, many of which happened in the band program as well.
“One [of my favorite memories] was obviously when our marching band won State finals. But, it’s hard for me to say because I loved going to high school there. When I think back to times in high school that make me smile or just feel good, I think a lot about people and relationships [I had with those people],” Cedar said.
Cedar attributes much of his success to his experiences and skills learned at LPHS.
“One thing I really learned from La Porte High School was how to be a better communicator such as communicating with people that I work with. I learned how to treat others and that everyone matters, and I learned a lot about being a leader. I learned how to multitask and [about] time management. Most importantly, I learned to see education not as a hurdle, but as something that adds value to your life,” Cedar said.
Since graduating, Cedar has been active in the community through various service efforts and working with charities. He was responsible for a very successful shoe donation drive a little more than a year ago, which collected hundreds of shoes for the less fortunate.
“I recently did a trip to Costa Rica, volunteering to help sea turtles as a marine conservation project. I did a lot of volunteering in the Valpo community. I worked at a daycare center, and I helped tutor English as a second language. Later, I started a shoe drive. Everyone wants to be involved in some way, and I wanted to do something that would bring the community together. I started a petition to ban plastic straws in South Bend, and at IUSB, I was picked to represent South Bend in a nationwide recycling competition. I was in charge of the whole school, and the Sustainability Club had to create a strategy to get the student body to recycle. I led that collection. Most recently, I was accepted to be an ambassador for a gap year travel company for students that is in the UK,” Cedar said.
Within the last few years, Cedar has also begun an initiative to help students who may not exactly be college material or college ready experience the world in a more intimate way.
“My main goal with ExplorationEd is to make a program where students have the opportunity to do things that they want to do now but maybe don’t have the means to do. The program will be just that, allowing students to travel, or experience something they normally wouldn’t,” Cedar said.
As for advice to future Slicer graduates, Cedar had some realistic, motivational words.
“Never be afraid to live your life the way you want to live it. Realize that at every moment of your life, where you are now is great and that you can only control the ‘now.’ Learn from the past but move on from it. Love people and use things.” Cedar said.
After 150 years of LPHS graduates, it is safe to say that Jonah Cedar represents all that it means to be a Slicer.