Vito Valenzi loves music. He first hit the “stage” when at age 4 he sang “New York, New York” to residents of a nursing home. He’s been singing ever since, not only music, but of his faith as well.
You have been coming to Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament since you were young. What is it about the parish that you like?
I like the family atmosphere of the parish; everyone always cares about what is happening in your life and they are always happy to see you participating in Mass and parish activities. I especially like the history lessons I receive from the “old-school” parishioners.
You’ve been an altar server for a number of years, starting right after First Communion. Why do you continue to do it as you get older when many others quit?
When I took my First Communion I wanted to do something to be part of the faith community, so I decided to be an altar server. After a few years I realized how important it was to actually be part of the most sacred part of our faith. I also enjoy training new servers and try to be an example to them so that they, too, continue to serve just as I have. Hopefully in the near future I would like to participate in another part of the Mass such as lector or Eucharistic minister. Staying involved is important. It allows me to always learn more about my faith and the different parts of the Mass.
Do you and your friends ever discuss faith and God and what they mean to you?
Not many of my friends talk about their faith and God, but if given the opportunity, I would always support my beliefs and how they can impact your life. I like for God and faith to be part of my everyday life, not just when there is a crisis of some kind. If God is part of your everyday life, and different situations come up, you already have the foundation of how to handle it. God must be in your life full time, never part time. God never gives us more than we can handle.
I know you’re young, but how has your faith influenced your life so far?
My faith has given me my moral compass in life. When I’m faced with challenges and decisions, it always directs me to what my faith has taught me to help make the right choices. My faith has also taught me the importance of doing service to others and how I can make a difference in someone else’s day just by a simple act of kindness.
Tell me some of your interests and why you like them so much.
My first passion has always been music and singing. I have been singing since I was about 4. At that age I sang “New York, New York” at a nursing home for all the residents. It was a big hit and it put a smile on all their faces. Nowadays, I sing throughout my school whenever a teacher or classmates ask me. I also enjoy photography and the ability to capture expressions on people that tell a story of what they have endured in life.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life so far?
My mom has always been a great influence in my life. Her willingness to always help others has always made me proud of her, no matter what the task is, her answer is always yes. She always taught me the importance of values and how they influence the decisions I make in life today and how they affect me in the future. Whenever I have to do something challenging or difficult, she always points me in the right direction. Even if I don’t think it’s possible, somehow her guidance helps me complete the task without ever giving up. She always taught me the importance of having faith and God in my life because it will lead me down the right paths, and to always treat others as I would want them to treat me.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has given you?
Don’t let opportunity pass you by, live for the moment, always take chances because if you don’t you will always wonder what could have been.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone else?
Don’t change who you are to please someone else. Just be who you were born to be.
What is it about yourself or your family that you’re most proud of?
I was born in America and I am of Italian decent. I have enjoyed the many traditions, old stories and, of course, the food of my Italian heritage. I feel it is important to learn about the traditions of years ago so it doesn’t become a dying generation. I would like to keep the stories and traditiNons alive so I can someday pass them on to my children. It is important to know where you came from so you know where you are going. Hopefully, someday I will be able to add a story or two of my own for the next generation to enjoy.
What do you hope the future holds for Vito Valenzi?
My personal goal is to continue to be part of my faith community, pursue a career in the music industry and to someday have a family so I can share all my Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament memories with them.
School: Sophomore at Whitesboro High.
Family: Parents, Vaughn & Jamie Valenzi.
Favorite things to do: Sing, photography, art and tennis.
Favorite book: “Life Is a Gift,” by Tony Bennett.
Favorite movie: “The Social Network.”
Favorite TV shows: “Friends” and “The Voice.”