By RANDI ROSSMANN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
St. Vincent de Paul High School senior Regina Camozzi has something few teens have: A clear sense of where she’s headed and what she would like to do with her life.
“I want to be an ag teacher,” said the 17-year-old Camozzi.
“Growing up on a dairy, all that hard work and dedication has made me want to give back to the ag industry,” she said.
Camozzi will graduate this spring and will attend Cal State Fresno in the fall. Her major is agricultural business with a minor in dairy science.
“I really feel, because of my background, it has shaped and molded me for my future career goals and dreams,” she said.
A real south county gal, the Petaluma native grew up in Rohnert Park, attends school in Petaluma and works in Penngrove.
As a member of a ranching family, she also is part of a dwindling population in Sonoma County. For years the family had dairy cows. Now they have beef cattle, a lifestyle that requires every family member to actively participate.
Following the classic ag path, Camozzi has been a member of 4-H for 11 years and is vice president of the Penngrove 4-H Club.
This spring, she competed in the 53rd annual dairy princess competition for Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties and was chosen as first alternate.
She annually shows cows at area fairs and mentors younger club members, said Geralyn Fessler, a 4-H community leader.
“One thing about 4-H, we allow kids to run the club. We find the ones who are going to be the leaders, like Regina,” Fessler said. “That’s what she has done. She has stepped up.”
She has worked at Bud’s Custom Meats in Penngrove for a couple of years, including after school, Saturdays and full- time throughout her summers.
“I really like it there . . . it’s kind of like family. Sometimes I feel like I see them more than mine,” Camozzi said.
“She’s a good worker, real motivated, real smart for her age,” said Chris Peterson, store manager.
Chores on the ranch, her job, 4-H activities and maintaining honor-roll grades sound like a full-time gig for a teen who also has friends and a social life. Camozzi does more.
She belongs to a number of clubs and charitable groups, including four years in her school’s Community Concern Club.
“We’ve been making care packages for soldiers. We go and decorate cookies with less fortunate kids, help out around the community. It’s a really good experience,” she said.
In her junior and senior years she has been a high school mentor, helping freshmen and transfer students feel welcome at their new school.
As a freshman, Camozzi participated in the American Cancer Society’s annual 24-hour relay to raise money for the cause.
“I enjoyed that so much I became a team captain for my high school,” she said.
In that role, she attends meetings at Petaluma Valley Hospital and works with other teens to keep them motivated.
She credits her parents for her activity-juggling abilities, saying they taught her good time-management skills.
“I think Regina has a very strong work ethic, and I do attribute that to growing up and working on the ranch,” said her mother, Holly. “She is very proud of her accomplishments, and I believe that drives her to even work harder when she sees positive results.”
Regina Camozzi said she plans to continue working hard in her life after high school.
“Oh, I’m ready to get out and try things on my own.”
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.