ROANOKE, Va. -

A new school year means new beginnings.

For college freshman, it means leaving the past behind and getting ready for a new chapter.

Katrina Weirup needed a high school job.

She could have chosen anywhere, but like dozens of students at Lord Botetourt High School, she came to work at The Glebe, a retirement community in Botetourt County.

For almost three years, Katrina has done the same thing, served the same people every day.

You'd assume that's mundane, she wouldn't have it any other way.

"I have one grandmother but she lives in Iowa but I don't get to see her too often, so this kind of like fills the void of grandparents, so I get 60 some grandparents," said Weirup.

"And we think they are all our grandchildren," said Anne Brugh, a resident at the Glebe.

"I don't have any grandchildren, so they're like children to me than grandchildren," said Marlene Short.

Few waitresses get to forge bonds like these, "You get to talk to them each night something happens the night before you can ask them about it, and it just keeps building," said Weirup.

Even fewer customers can dote on kids that used to be complete strangers.

"These kids have character," said Latane Brugh, Anne's husband.

"They're the cream of the crop," Anne said.

The mutual adoration goes well beyond the dining room, though.

Residents here even go watch the kids games when they suit up for Lord Botetourt.

"Support! We're just interested in them and their lives, they're all wonderful young people," Anne Brugh said.

Most good things must come to an end; Katrina's last day is Saturday.

Next week, she heads to Bridgewater College to study music education. Like many of her predecessors, she'll be back when she has a break from school, but she knows the cycle of life is unyielding.

"When you say goodbye, you don't know if you're saying goodbye for good or not, but just to trust relationships you built," said Katrina Weirup.

When you go to a restaurant, the people around the table are usually most important.

Here, who's standing next to it means just as much.