Part of the duty of being class valedictorian is giving a speech to the graduating class. Stozza said his speech will be reflective while at the same time send his fellow graduates off onto their future journeys. It was lots of hard work that helped Strozza earn his place on the graduation podium on June 4 at Lawlor Events Center and next fall in the freshman class at the University of Southern California.
“I’m going to attend USC for business,” Strozza said of his future plans. “It was the best college that I got into and it’s ranked one of the top business schools in the nation.”
Strozza will move to Southern California during the summer and will begin classes in August. He credits his stellar college acceptance to the hard work he did in high school to achieve his 4.98 weighted grade point average.
“You have to pick hard curriculum and manage your time well and you have to get good grades,” Strozza said of his formula for success.
In addition to academic success, Strozza was involved in extracurricular activities at Spanish Springs High School. He played on the varsity tennis and ski teams all four years as well as the golf team for three years.
Strozza said he is proud of being on the ski team because he was able to attend the state championships, where he placed ninth. In fact, he believes that being a part of the ski team is one of his favorite high school memories.
Strozza also branched out from Spanish Spring High School’s sports team to participate in the science bowl and to start the investment club.
“The original goal was to invest actual money that we made in the stock market,” Strozza said of the club, adding that all profits were intended to go to charity. “But that was considered gambling by the (Washoe County) school district.”
Strozza revised the investment club’s goals and it became a successful learning tool with about 20 students participating. The club gave each student an imaginary $100,000 to invest in stocks and a winner was determined by the success of their portfolio.
Proving that he has a head for business, Strozza won and received $100. Strozza said he hopes to be putting similar skills to use in about 10 years.
“I’ll have a graduate degree in business and I see myself working for some business organization,” Strozza said. “I see myself working in investments.”
Not deterred by the current state of the economy, Strozza seems determined to put in the hard work to get where he wants to be in life and he believes that other students who might strive to be valedictorian can get there as well.
“Just manage your time appropriately and make sure you get your work done before you make time for fun,” Stozza advises for future valedictorians.