Keirra Laube showed off a smile at the Valley Stream South High School senior prom Wednesday night that at first glance would make someone think she doesn’t have a care in the world.
But that smile is more a sign of her perseverance. Laube’s mother, Mary, died when she was in third grade, and during her junior year at Valley Stream South High School she lost her father, Robert.
Despite the painful losses, Laube has maintained a positive outlook on life. On Wednesday evening she celebrated graduation week at the school’s prom at Floral Terrace in Floral Park with classmates and teachers that have been by her side through the tough times.
Laube, the senior class president, is forever grateful for the emotional support friends and staff have provided. Teachers surprised her this year with a Best Buy gift card to purchase a laptop before heading off to college this fall at Princeton University.
“My high school was definitely a support system,” said Laube, who now lives with her grandmother, sister and aunt. “Everyone surrounded me with so much love.”
The support Laube received helped her stay focused through the pain of losing a second parent, as she excelled academically while juggling multiple activities.
In addition to her class leadership role, Laube was president of Students Against Destructive Decisions and the Character Action Team. She also was a starting defender on the combined Valley Stream District’s varsity girls lacrosse team.
“You would never know she has had such tragedy in her life,” said Valley Stream South principal Maureen Henry. “It’s such a pleasure to be around her.”
Laube, who moved to Valley Stream from Lancaster, Pa. in third grade after her mom died, plans to study either economics or public policy at the Ivy League school. Wherever life takes Laube, the influence of her late parents will remain.
“I still keep them in my thoughts all the time,” she said. “I know they would be proud of me.”