Sydney Petro is a junior marketing major from Johnstown, Pa. and currently works as a Resident Assistant on campus. Outside of life on campus, Sydney also works as a Survey and Resume Coordinator for Nurse Navigators Solutions in Johnstown, is an independent consultant for Sabika Jewelry, and is a singer for weddings and other special events.
Sydney is a talented singer that has performed since she was just nine years old. At that time, she was performing at church as a cantor and part of the choir. This was just the start to her musical career though; in seventh grade, Sydney would go on to start performing in musical productions, and even worked with a professional voice coach to enhance her abilities.
“My first musical audition was for the musical Annie. I was very nervous and never did anything like this before. I had no intentions of auditioning for a lead role, I just wanted to be a part of the musical,” Sydney said. “When it came time for the director to pick students to sing a solo audition, I never thought I would get picked. I was the last one picked to sing a solo piece. Then that next week, the cast list was posted and I was cast as the main role, Annie! I could not contain my excitement. This is truly where my singing career officially began.
Sydney found her musical inspiration at just 10 years old from her music teacher, Evonne Yanzetich-Homway. Evonne encouraged Sydney to take advantage of more singing opportunities while working with Sydney as her music coach. The two have been close friends for just over a decade now, and Sydney credits much of her success to Evonne.
“We are truly a team when it comes to music. She is always my top pick for a pianist or organist for any event,” said Sydney. “Her talent is inspiring and breath-taking to watch. I would not be the singer I am today if it wasn’t for her. The impact she has made on my life is truly inspiring."
Some of Sydney’s favorite performances have been singing the national anthem at special events, being involved with festival choral performances, and a variety of musicals. Although, her most honorable performance came whenever she had the opportunity to sing the national anthem in-front of thousands of people at a campaign rally in Johnstown for now-President Donald Trump this past fall. She even had the opportunity to meet the President prior to her performance (pictured at left).
“My voice will always be an asset to my life. It has given me countless opportunities. My voice is truly the best gift I have ever received. I thank God every day for my voice and I believe that I use my talent to the best of my ability,” Sydney said.
Sydney plans to work and live in Pittsburgh as an event planner upon her graduation in May 2018. However, Sydney still plans to offer wedding singing services professionally, after graduation, as a second job.
Now, as she prepares for her future, she is taking the time to appreciate her experiences at Saint Francis.
“I plan on using my marketing, leadership, motivational, and overall knowledge that Saint Francis University has taught me. As a junior, I cannot put into words how much I have learned here at Saint Francis University. It’s hard to believe that I only have one more year on undergraduate classes,” Sydney said. “The friendships and memories I have gained so far are unforgettable. Being a part of the Resident Life staff has made me feel like I am part of another family. You gain 42 new friends and form an unbreakable bond between each RA. My closest friends I have met though Resident’s Life and I am so happy that I applied for the job back in my freshman year. This is my second year as an RA and I am blessed with the opportunities and skills it has given me."
Sydney is just another example of a successful student at Saint Francis University in both academics and life. She took a moment to offer advice to students with aspirations of their own.
“My advice for students is to always follow your dreams and to never give up on what you love. College is a huge transition and it is unbelievably hard to decide what you what to do for the rest of your life, but when you find the one thing that makes you happy and you love doing it, then go for it,” said. Sydney. “Failure is never an option. You are your biggest competitor and your biggest critic. Believing in yourself and having that motivation will help you to the road to success.”
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