Lancers in the Crowd: junior Gaby Gaston

Scott Snow, staff writer

I reckon junior Neysa “Gaby” Gaston would feel very comfortable sitting on a plane with the lights along the overheads, flight attendants walking along the aisle and the low hum of the engines as the craft takes flight. I reckon she would look down out of the window and see more than a millionhouses down there. I reckon she would see countless families.

At the age of four, Gaby moved to Texas for the first time. Since then, she has changed homes three additional times, oscillating between living with her mother and her aunt and uncle. When one needed the assistance of the other, back on a plane she went.

Such a life will quickly teach a girl that no one can be perfect, but everyone can lend a hand to someone in need. Gaby needed a family, and that’s exactly what she got.

In 2007, Gaby had to endure another change. As a fifth grader, Gaby suffered the loss of her uncle, the man she had always called dad. Many would fail to overcome such a tragedy, but Gaby insists she knew it was possible.

“It was hard, yes, but it gets better with time,” Gaston said.

What effect did all of this have on young Gaby?

“It made me appreciate how much I love my family,” Gaston said, when she realized family means so much more than two children and their parents.

Family means the communities you grew up in, the relatives who cared for you, the brothers you see whenever you can and the friends across thousands of miles who stand by you. Gaby understands that and under all of that is love.

“I keep my friends very dear, and choose those who will love me for me,” Gaston said.

It doesn’t take much effort to love Gabby. A performer in the ASL Show, a runner on the track and field team and owner of a contagious smile, Gaby seems to have all her bases covered.

From here she aspires to attend Prairie View A&M in Texas and seek out a skill in presenting and promoting.

“I’ve always wanted to be a talk show host, or maybe, a motivational speaker,” Gaston said. “I just feel like I have something to say.”

And the message she would deliver above all others?

“Keep your family close.”

With a laugh and a smile, that’s all she had to say.