College campuses reflect leadership of Utica Community Schools graduates
College campuses reflect leadership of Utica Community Schools graduates
Posted on 10/03/2017
Pictures of two group of student government leaders

It is easy to explain why Utica Community Schools students continue to earn leadership roles after they graduate.

“I know for a fact that UCS helped develop my skills to empathize with others, and learn about the unique needs that rests in every student,” said Lorenzo Santavicca, student body president at Michigan State University.

Santavicca, from the Eisenhower Class of 2014, is one of two recent UCS graduates who have been elected as president of their university student body.

At the University of Detroit Mercy, 2015 Utica High School graduate Elijah Zentz has also been elected to be the student leader.

He credits the “culture of respect and independence” he experienced as a student at Utica High School and the Utica Center for Science and Industry.

“We continue to hear from UCS graduates that they have become successful leaders their colleges, government, and business and industry locally and across the country,” said Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns. “In all instances, students attribute their commitment to service and leadership to their K-12 roots.” 

As president at University of Detroit-Mercy, Zentz said his role is to serve as a resource bridge between students and administration.

He leads an executive team works that directly with university administration and serves as a governing body for all student organizations.

“I credit much of my success to the various teachers who guided me through my high school experience,” he said. “They were down to earth, highly knowledgeable, trusting and persistent.”

At Michigan State University, Santavicca leads a $2 million organization that represents 40,000 students to university officials and local, state, and national   leaders. Current projects include a survey to determine needs of students and efforts to ensure a safe and secure campus.

He said the skills he uses to lead the organization began when he served as vice president of the Eisenhower High School senior class, president of the National Honor Society and member of the UCS Superintendent’s Advisory Board.

“All of these leadership roles helped me realize that more than ever, my generation needs to be able to lead with honesty and dignity very early in life, and I’m proud to acclaim my success today to the people around me in UCS as helping me reach my leadership potential,” Santavicca said.