Seniors in St. Bernard Parish who have spent their high school years watching their community rebuild around them got ready for the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Friday night.
The Chalmette High School Owls hosted a football jamboree Friday. Since Katrina, they've just been trying to make it through high school and be normal kids.
"It pretty much destroyed my life," Kelsey Acosta said. "I was in eighth grade then."
This time last year, life was different for people in St. Bernard Parish. Like many other facilities in the area, Chalmette High School's stadium was flooded.
"Every year it's the same anxiety, like, 'Oh my God, is another storm going to come?'" Acosta said.
It's a different story this year. The school has a rebuilt stadium and those who are seniors now recall what they've been through over the years.
"We've come a very long way," Acosta said.
The teenagers said they have made the best out of a rough four years.
"I keep my friends close and memories, too," said Belle Chasse High School student Kayla Reed. "You take more note of life when you lose so much."
Most are just trying to move forward.
"It doesn't affect me now," Acosta said. "My life's back on track now, and that's the past."
"We had to pick up where we left off, (but) we'll be back," said Markell Clark, of Reed High School.
"It's always in back of your mind," Acosta said.
Many of the students also said that because of their Katrina experience, they value relationships and their home parishes more than ever.
Since the storm, the football stadium at Chalmette High School has been completely renovated and a brand new wing of the school was built, complete with a skywalk to allow access between the two buildings.
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