Lana Vicera Carlos impressed those who knew her with her artwork, her music and especially her writing. Lana was a prolific writer who authored about 15 short stories.
“Her work was a pleasure to read, and often an example that I would use for the rest of my students of how it should be done,” said Creekside Middle School teacher Jason Wallis. “She wrote an amazing response to literature after a novel we read in class on not taking things for granted. She spoke about how her family was so important to her. In the essay you could see through the writing the love and incredible character Lana had. During an assignment where we wrote a speech about a dream for the future, Lana shared her dreams about ending poverty, and it demonstrated her enormous heart.”
Lana, 12, lost her life on Feb. 24, 2020 after a vehicle struck her as she was crossing Crow Canyon Road with her older sister Jadyn, 13, while walking home from Creekside.
“I miss her and our classroom will not be the same without her,” said Creekside English teacher Jennifer Gosselin.
According to her family, Lana was kind, optimistic, inspirational and a true Renaissance woman.
“Lana’s goofy and energetic persona was incredibly infectious, and she always made sure that everyone she was close to knew that she loved them with every ounce of her. She was tiny but had an enormous heart!” said Jasmine Naguiat, Lana’s cousin.
“She was just such a bright and happy little girl, full of life and full of optimism for her future. She loved life and living life to the fullest,” said Dr. Lester Carlos, Lana’s father, who plans to publish a collection of her short stories.
In addition to being a writer, she was an amazing artist, and dreamed of attending art school. Lana was also a dedicated musician. Lana played the violin in both the Proctor Elementary School and Creekside string orchestras. She taught herself how to play the keyboard and ukulele. She was also very skillful with social media and made YouTube and TikTok videos.
To top all of this off, Lana was an extraordinary student. She earned straight As at Creekside.
“Lana had a strong faith in God and was very active spiritually, which was a subject of her writing,” Lester said.
“One thing I want Lana to be remembered by is her love for Jesus Christ. She always wrote ‘Love God first’ in birthday cards and mother’s and father’s day cards,” said Regina Vicera, Lana’s mother. “Lana and I had beautiful moments watching The Bible Project and The Bible Series, et al, and talking about what we have learned in our walk with Christ. Her bff, Brenda Huyhn, remembers how she reads her small book ‘God’s Promises for Your Life’ during free reading time. Lana kept this book in her backpack always.”
The Castro Valley community has been very supportive of Lana’s family during their time of grief. Students at Creekside, Proctor and CVHS helped create a memorial for Lana. Proctor students created several posters that included pictures and wrote beautiful descriptions of Lana’s personality. Creekside choir and string orchestra performed for Lana’s tribute while the rest of Creekside students created wall posters leaving personal and heartfelt messages to Lana, Jadyn and her family. CVHS students never had the chance to meet Lana, but they wanted to show their support to Jadyn and her family and made paper flowers for the memorial.
The school district has helped support Lana’s friends by making counselors at the Wellness Centers open to talk to students about her passing.
The Vicera and Carlos family want to express their thanks and gratitude to Proctor, Creekside, CVHS, 3Crosses Church and all of Castro Valley community.
“Our family cannot express our gratitude enough for 3Crosses Church and Castro Valley community! We have received so much outpouring of support ranging from Castro Valley students and their families, to close friends and families. The support even went beyond as far as businesses and strangers we’ve never met, but were truly affected by this tragedy,” Regina said. “We truly felt the comfort, the love, and the generosity from everyone in the midst of our sorrow and pain.”
“The collective love made us feel like we weren’t alone,” Lester said. “In my heart and in my spirit, Lana is still alive.”