Charlotte Lane “Laney” Langenstein is a senior at Isidore Newman High School. Among the numerous organizations she volunteers with, she serves as the president of PUPS (People United for the Preservation of Strays), which she has been a part of since her freshman year.
PUPS is an organization that encourages student participation in animal care, typically dogs. The club holds dog food and toy drives, attends frequent dog adoptions and is hoping to produce a calendar showcasing the dogs within the Newman community as a fundraiser for local animal shelters.
She is also a member of Students to Explore Prejudice and, this year, Langenstein is a co-leader of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), a nationally recognized organization that focuses on limiting avoidable teenage mistakes.
“This year SADD is hosting monthly events, each with a designated specific issue,” she says. “September was used to alert teenagers on the dangers of stress and how to avoid it.”
Langenstein began volunteering with Breakthrough New Orleans, another project at Newman, which sparked her interest in teaching. As a freshman, she began teaching poetry on Saturdays to at-risk, underserved students. “Throughout the years, my love for the program has grown. I have taught many different courses and have become more involved,” she says. Her sophomore year, she became a member of the Breakthrough school-year committee. At the end of her junior year, she was honored to join Breakthrough’s advisory board, and she now serves as liaison between the board and the student teachers.
Langenstein also began tutoring students at a local charter school (after school, once a week) a few years ago. “Over the course of my involvement, I grew particularly close to one student,” she says. “She was a first-grader and unable to recognize letters in the alphabet. Week after week, I would sit with her in hopes that she would be able to identify ‘A’ or ‘B’ and eventually that’s just what she did. The emotion I felt after she was able to recite and recognize the alphabet is indescribable. I was exuberant and it is that feeling I will never forget. It made me see that I can make a difference.”
This school year, Langenstein is conducting research in the biomedical engineering field.
She is also involved in the drama club, chorus, Offkey and Carrollton Soccer Association, as well as a Newman cheerleader.
When Langenstein graduates at the end of this year, she wants to study to become a surgeon. Her dream isn’t only to be able to create artificial implants, but to embed them as well. She hopes to be a part of the Doctors Without Borders organization.