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Way to Go! Kelcie Alba of East Islip

Kelcie Alba, an eighth-grader at East Islip Middle

Kelcie Alba, an eighth-grader at East Islip Middle School, with Principal Mark Bernard and teacher Janice Laube. Credit: East Islip School District

An East Islip student is using her academic success to explore leadership and travel opportunities.

Kelcie Alba, an eighth-grader at East Islip Middle School, has traveled to both Washington, D.C., and Boston over the past two summers as part of Junior National Young Leaders Conferences coordinated by Envision, a Virginia-based organization that provides students with opportunities to discover their career and life interests. The six-day trips included about 150 and 200 students nationwide, respectively.

Alba also is teaching herself Japanese in anticipation of traveling to Japan through the nonprofit AFS Intercultural Programs. To learn the language, she used the app HelloTalk to connect with a 14-year-old student in Fukushima — and is teaching him English in return.

“I like the pop culture and the technology,” Alba, 13, said of her passion for Japan. “They are very advanced over there.”

A member of her school’s Honor Roll, Alba is in the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society. She also plays tennis and is president, an editor, and cartoon illustrator for her school’s newspaper.

In her spare time, Alba assembles bags of toiletries for women and children residing in domestic violence shelters.

“Kelcie willingly embraces unique and challenging opportunities which provide her with educational and personal growth,” East Islip teacher Janice Laube said.

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