Senior Carly Lurier: “Putting Her Heart Into Everything”

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Senior Carly Lurier: “Putting Her Heart Into Everything”


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By Carly Flahive

Carly Lurier (center) entertains the photographer during the team picture.

Carly Lurier (center) entertains the photographer during the team picture.

Running down the field preparing to receive a pass from one of her teammates, she stops, waits a minute, turns her head, looks to the sidelines and shouts, “Hey mom, what’s for dinner?” As parents burst into laughter witnessing how this young girl just halted her town soccer game, they are less than astonished. This was normal, comical behavior for eight year old Carly Lurier. Following the soccer game, she cracks jokes with her teammates as a photographer tries to get everyone to look at the camera. At such a young age, Lurier was always the life of the party.

Although later, she would face times of struggle, change, and confusion, at eight years old, Lurier did not have these future worries on her radar. She had her smile, jokes, and entertaining personality to make any situation enjoyable.

Raised the youngest behind two older brothers, Lurier was an energetic fireball with excitement that had seemingly no limits.  Always trying to prove herself to her close knit brothers, Josh, now 24 years old, and Jeremy, 22 years old, Lurier never completely felt she had their full respect. Often times double teamed, she was constantly being ratted on and getting in trouble because by herself, she didn’t have the power to prevent it. “There was a lot of proving myself to my brothers,” remarks Lurier. “They made me hard headed and tough because of it,” she adds. Always striving to justify her place in the family, Lurier gained great strength from the circumstance which she was raised.

Whether it be soccer, basketball, tennis, or skateboarding around her neighborhood, Lurier was always keeping herself busy with something that kept her on her feet. From a young age, sports are what consumed her schedule. “It was all sports.” Her love and passion for athletics were evident throughout her childhood participation in town soccer, recreational, travel, and school basketball, as well as tennis. Though creating some great memories, the fun came to an end sooner than Lurier had hoped.

For Lurier, injury and illness seemed to be a never ending battle beginning in first grade. It appeared to never fade. Her luck, unfortunately, never seemed to be in her favor. “It was fourth grade when I managed to sprain my ankle,” she remarks. “Interestingly enough, there is a large amount of uncertainty in the manner in which it happened,” she shares with a smile on her face. Although the injury was not too severe, her mom recommended that maybe it was time to take a break. Not only was injury prominent, increased health conditions were leaving Lurier exposed to doctor after doctor with no true fix to the problem. Taking a break from nearly all of her sports, she continued to participate in just basketball, regarding if she felt up to it.

Jaws dropped as she walked down her stairs following a night full of fun trick or treating. Covered head to toe with a rash, swollen all over, she was unrecognizable. “My parents didn’t recognize me it was so bad.” What was previously thought to be an allergic reaction took a turn for the worse over the course of that night leaving Lurier in discomfort, confusion, and in the hospital to try to tame the swelling. This moment, in just first grade, would spark the seven year journey that follows trying to determine what is wrong.

Theatre never seemed to be the fit for this drama queen.

Theatre never seemed to be the fit for this drama queen.

During her time off from sports, she ventured out of her comfort zone and participated in her first musical performance with the Westborough Players Club acting in their production of The Wizard of Oz. “Theatre wasn’t really my thing,” Lurier remarks. Unfortunately, when sports couldn’t really be in the picture, she was not having much luck finding something to replace it with. “It wasn’t competitive,” she adds, “It didn’t energize me in any way.” Dropping what seemed to be something she knew she would never pick up again, when high school came around, Lurier would soon surprise herself with her new found love for theatre.

Although conflicted with what should could do to entertain herself, her health conditions were still a priority. Time kept ticking past with no answer to the questions Lurier and her family wanted figured out. With continuous doctor appointments, Lurier was pulled out of school at a young age and often times found herself constantly trying to catch up with the workload that seemed to build on her. Although it all began in elementary school, those missed grammar lessons and generic classroom activities definitely took a toll on her learning. Never truly finding school to be a challenge, it eventually caught up to her.

“I fell way behind,” notes Lurier. “I still have trouble with the simple things that kids learned in first grade,” remarks Lurier. However with all the missed days, learning disabilities certainly became prominent in her everyday life. Given the opportunity to stay back and repeat a year to hopefully catch herself back up to speed, she opted out and pushed herself through the years that followed.

With all the confusion Lurier was going through and the fear of interacting with people, she often times found herself alone in front of her TV with no desire to interact with anyone. She recalls, “Social interaction was a huge challenge for me. I felt like such a weird kid. I was bullied for all of my health issues.” She was frustrated as kids would ask her questions such as “Are you an alien?” Or, “What’s wrong with you?” Struggling to understand and find out herself what was going on, she felt she had no choice but to escape the world she was fearing to be a part of. While “dissolving into her own world,” as she puts it, she was depressed with the personality that was taking over her. Through the help of her loving and very supportive mother, Kim, Lurier was urged out of her comfort zone and taught that being outgoing could put her in a place where she would be happy with who she was.

Determined, Lurier was destined to succeed with whatever she was going to do. Now a high school senior, and growing up throughout, she knew what her priorities and expectations were. She may have interests and loves for certain things, yet she never let herself disappoint her family or herself because she never gave up trying. Although school could be difficult at times, and often times still is challenging, Lurier’s effort and hard work certainly pay off.

“Carly is a hard working person who puts her heart into just about everything she does,” mentions her mother. “She gives herself her best and has faith about being able to rise above difficult circumstances.”

Time passed and doctors were finally able to help clear up some confusion for Lurier. Having immune system and neurological issues, she finally had a slightly greater understanding as to what she went through. Although some responses created a certain amount of additional grey area, Lurier often times finds herself furthering her research to try to make sense of everything. “Any chance I get to to choose a topic to research or write about in school, I always choose something different that pertains to my life.” Putting her mind to something that interests her has always been a huge component to the type of person she is. When she wants to know something, she will not hesitate to put her effort into finding out about it.

As a compassionate, fun-loving, resilient girl, her parents have a lot to be proud of. Although she struggled a lot with overcoming her health and social conditions, that wasn’t the end of it for this child. “On top of all her health struggles, she also had to live through and experience what it’s like to have her parents separate, then divorce,” shares her mom. In eighth grade, this change in one’s life can definitely take a toll. “These saddening events have definitely shaped Carly.  I think Carly has learned that there is always another side to adversity.  There is a silver lining, it’s just waiting to be uncovered,” she adds.

Challenging to go through, Lurier still manages to have a positive attitude to the circumstance. Instead of looking at the divorce as a negative, she remarks, “It really allowed the negativity to go away and a sense of peace to come over in the house.” She jumped this hurdle in life and was able to build a stronger relationship with her parents because of it. “I never really had a strong relationship with my father, but since the divorce, our relationship has grown stronger every day.” Although a rocky road for Lurier, her mother shares, “ Her spirit is strong and her sense of humor is never-ending.”

Lurier (left) puts her acting skills into action at The New York Film Academy summer camp.

Lurier (left) puts her acting skills into action at The New York Film Academy summer camp.

Through changing times, Lurier was able to venture out of her comfort zone and go explore what she found to be one of her favorite hobbies–filmmaking. Attending a four week summer program with The New York Film Academy for the past two years, going into her junior year of high school, she spent the weeks dorming at Harvard University where she learned acting skills, and the following year, she spent her weeks in New York City film directing. Through her travels, she not only gained a great sense of what she is passionate about, but she also was able to travel and meet some of her best friends today. “I met people from all over the world and really got to know them. We created strong bonds with counselors  and each other and today, some of these friendships I made happen to be with some of my best friends.” Although discovering this to be an industry she would not enjoy working for, she definitely enjoys the hobby of it and what the experience brought to her life.

This adventure would ultimately lead Lurier to gain the confidence needed to join the D-Wing her Junior year and take part in the school play, one of the best decisions she would find herself making throughout her time at WHS. She enjoyed her parts in The Laramie Project however, this experience was more than just the role. It was the whole atmosphere that this section of the school brought to her life. The positivity of every person in theatre, whether it be tech crew, actors, actresses, teachers, or whoever was in the area was just the environment that had been missing in Lurier’s day. “In the first play, I found a second family,” remarks Lurier. “I looked forward to going there everyday just to see the people. Everyone was so supportive and urged me to be myself. I realized I didn’t have to be insecure about feeling judged because everyone there was so welcoming.” Although at first hesitant to leave basketball for theatre, Lurier knew it was the right decision.

As high school draws to a close for this senior, choices for what’s next have to be made. Deciding to take a gap year before attending Goucher College, Lurier hopes to find herself in India and Nepal with a group of students who will later be attending the same school as well. Whether it be through being a representative for Serengetee, an organization that puts fabrics from different countries on different clothing accessories and gives 10% of the profits back to those in need, making donations to benefit people in need, or through the Global and Community Aid Club here at WHS, which she created her Junior year, Lurier has always had the drive to help others in need. Through volunteer work, such as helping build new structures, buildings, and clean water systems in these counties, Lurier will finally get the time to not only enjoy the cultural immersion aspect of travel, which she loves, but she also will gain the reward of being able to help so many people in need.

Lurier promotes Seremgetee by wearing thier clothing and through social media.

Lurier promotes Seremgetee by wearing thier clothing and through social media.

“Serengetee definitely had an influence on me to to further reach for my goal of helping people in underprivileged areas,” notes Lurier. “Through the Global and Community Aid Club, I had some fundraising ideas that would allow us to make donations to many countries in need.” Although her mind was racing with things to do, she knew what her job was as a student. “School is my priority. Although I wish we could have done more, I know that taking this gap year will enable me to take on the job of fundraising for more causes.” With a set goal in mind, Lurier has her stones in place for what she will pursue upon graduating this 2016.

Through her consistent dedication to putting her best foot forward in whatever it is she decides to go after, Lurier has been able to hurdle the many obstacles she has faced making her a stronger individual in the long run. Whether it be health related issues, interest changes, family hardships, or more, Lurier has certainly learned to overcome adversity and find interests to devote her time to. Through her goals in life and intents behind what she plans to seek, Lurier will find a way to make her dreams become a reality. She knows what she wants and will figure out a way to not only go after it, but she will get it.