Luchtime Hero

Students typically don’t pay too much attention to our lunch ladies, after all, students are simply there to get their lunch. But whether we realize it or not, we make an impact on them and ultimately make their work worthwhile. Everyone has a story to tell, and it is with that, that the anonymity of the lunch ladies sparked an interest for a story.

She was born and raised in Jamaica, and then moved to Nottingham, England, to become a nurse. She has a laugh that is incredibly contagious, and a smile that shows the world her magnanimity. She has great compassion for her mother, who she says was a very strong woman. She believes that other than having her daughter, the most valued aspect of her life is just being alive. To us students, we know her as the lunch lady, but to her loved ones and everyone else, she is known as Carmen Baker.
As a child, Baker’s dream was to be a teacher like her mother, however she later changed her mind. Thirty years ago Baker came to America from England for better opportunities within her practicing field as a nurse.
“The nursing school here was in a sense different, because I had to produce my papers, and they said I’d have to have it before I could do my LPN work and my nursing school was all done in England so I just work in St. Francis as an aid and so forth,” Baker said, “then during that time I did several things. Nursing aid, CSN, home aid, pack meat; you have to do everything to survive. Then after that I came into the school system where I worked as a custodian.”
Baker was a custodian for about six years when she fell on some ice and hurt herself, as a result of this she later went into the food service, thus ending up here at the old school of blue and gold. Baker says that doing her job makes her happy, and she believes it has many rewards to it.
“I have the opportunity to serve various kids. Lots and lots of different kids. Some of them are just being bad, but I love them. The various kids there make it interesting, and even if you come across to one or two, you can help them to just be nice.” Baker said.
Out of everything, if Baker could say one thing to every student who crosses paths with her, it would be to simply try their best to go far in life.
“I tell them that they should persevere with their dreams to accomplish what they want; don’t waste time.” Said Baker, “Listen to their teacher, listen to their older folks, and listen to their dreams. Because a lot of these kids have no goal.”
Baker lives out her own dreams, as she hopes that students try to do the same. However, she realizes that this may not always be the easiest thing to do, but she believes that this should not stop anyone from obtaining the impossible.
“Sometimes you plan for something and it might not come true here and then,” Baker said. “But that shouldn’t deter you from your future. Because sometimes, maybe because of the money, you can’t get what you want, but if you’re determined to do something it’s better than nothing. Just hold your head up high and you’ll accomplish your dream.”