The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Lost phone finds friendship

March 31, 2022

 

new friends: Noa Cohen, left, and Sterling Duncan, right

Everyone knows the feeling. You go to check your messages, but your pocket is lighter than usual.  Your phone is gone. After checking all your pockets and your bag, the panic sets in.  Now imagine not only is your phone lost but you’re in a foreign country.  That’s exactly what happened to Noah Cohen, an Italian foreign exchange student here at Central. 

“I felt powerless,” Cohen said.   

With an especially rough year, of  record fights, Devious Licks, and weekly vape-induced fire alarms, it was easy to assume her phone was lost for good. Many students would have quickly taken the phone, switched the sim, and made a few hundred bucks.   But lucky for Noah, the student who found her phone,  Sterling Duncan,  is not ‘many students’.  To most at  Central he is known as “The Dancing Kid,”  iconic for break-dancing through the hallways in passing period  with big, red -and- black headphones. 

“I have a bit of a  reputation to uphold,” Duncan said. Who wants Central to know that he dances to Disney but never rap? 

Ever since the phone brought them together, the two extroverts  hit it off and have stayed in touch ever  since. Today, they have each other’s contacts, say hi whenever they meet in the halls, and even occasionally eat lunch together.  In a school of 2,900 being tight with the school celebrity means a lot to Cohen.   

“When I got here everyone was  normal and then I saw him and he was like from a movie. Then I actually met  him and I felt like I was in the movie.  I feel like everyone knows him so when he talks to me it’s a big thing for me,” Cohen said. 

The infamous  senior says he has turned in four phones in his time at Central, but Noah was the first to make any effort towards gratitude.   

“When I was called into the office to get my phone,   I asked them ‘Who found it, who found it?’ because I really needed to say thank you,” Cohen recalled. “Then they called me to the office again 8th period,  and he was there so I just told him thank you, thank you, thank you.”    

But Cohen did not feel that words were enough, so the next school day she brought him a bag of chocolates and a $50 Starbucks gift card. This hit him for Duncan.  

“My mom bent her back to get us what we wanted but when I was younger, my family was always broke, so if I wanted sweets I would steal them from the store. When I saw how hard my mom was working that’s what inspired be to always be good,” Duncan shared. 

While the gift was much appreciated, it was never the incentive for Duncan.  His motivation came from a place of deep integrity.   

“Someone’s phone is worth more than a thousand dollars and if I’m going to sell the phone for just a few hundred bucks, how much of a scumbag does that make me?” Duncan asks. “The good you put out into the world comes back to you.”   

 

 

 

 

 

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