Mercy student’s artistry extends beyond school walls

As captain of the varsity volleyball team, treasurer for the National Honor Society and a National Art Society member with a 4.0 grade point average, 18-year-old Johanna Laue has been in the spotlight at Mercy High School in Baltimore.

While she shines on campus, Laue also demonstrates her artistry and athleticism beyond school walls.

When asked on a college application how she would spend Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame, the petite, bespectacled parishioner of St. Pius X in Rodgers Forge said she would want to compete in the U.S. Olympics in synchronized swimming.

For 10 years, she has participated in the sport at her community pool, putting on an annual summer show with more than 50 other young women.

“I just love the girls I do it with,” she said. “You become close to people. We do different routines and it’s a lot of fun.”

Laue, who will attend St. Mary’s College in the fall and major in biology, said her experience at Mercy has helped mold her into the young woman she is today.

“I was able to step out of my shell and try new things, and the teachers were really helpful, and I met a lot of great friends here,” said Laue, who also studied drawing at Mercy. “They give you so many opportunities that you can take advantage of here, and I was able to challenge myself, which was really important also.”

Laue has considered a career in nursing, and while at Mercy was able to mentor with a Mercy alumnus at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. She logged in 33 hours each quarter working in the intensive care unit.

“It was very exciting,” she said. “I learned a lot about different treatments and medicines.”

She has also worked with Seeds of Peace, trying to raise awareness of peace, both inside and outside the community, is a member of her school’s Hispanic Heritage Club and served as a public relations intern for her school.

Laue, who has an older brother at Loyola University and a younger brother at St. Pius, has been playing volleyball since middle school and coaches youths at St. Pius.

At her church, Laue serves as a peer educator for confirmation candidates.

“When I was getting confirmed, I learned the most from the peer educators because they were more relatable to where I was at that time,” said the teen.

Faith, she said, is very important to her.

“I’ve just found that at times that have been hard in my life, it’s what’s been crucial in getting me through it.”

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.