Long Beach NY


Family Gathering


Guest Book
John D'Angelo


Father knows best
"lessons learned"
john feb 05



In Memory of

Family Gathering
Serena D’Angelo
Class of 2013

The most important lesson that my father ever taught me was that life is not fair, but it goes on. My name is Serena D’Angelo. I am 20 years old and I just completed my junior year at CNU as a communications major, with a double minor in journalism and philosophy and religious studies. Working since I was 16 years old, I have always prided myself in doing things for myself, and making a difference in the community. In high school, I worked as an assistant instructor at World Class Martial Arts, where I also trained in Moy Thai kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I also worked at a children’s birthday party center, Pump It Up and towards the end of high school, I began my retail career, working at F.Y.E in the local mall. I also was very involved with theater from elementary to high school, and was a member of the International Thespian Society for two years. In high school I also was involved in Ruriteens, Beta Club, show choir, and was a big part of the student newspaper, The Shield. When I was accepted to Christopher Newport University for the Fall of 2009, I brought these values of hard work with me. Through the financial aid work-study program, I started working as a student aid my first semester freshman year in the office for the Department of Communication, then called Communication Studies. Three years later, I still hold that position. Working in the department that I am majoring in has given me the absolute best experiences I could have ever asked for. I have established great relationships with my professors and I feel very comfortable working as part of the #commnerd family. Perhaps this was the reason I joined the international honor fraternity for communications, Lambda Pi Eta, the spring of my sophomore year. As a junior, I was elected Vice President for LPH, and I have spent this past year in that leadership role planning a speakers series with talks from four comm scholars, graduate school workshops, and Concert for Tommy. Next year, I am looking forward to continuing my work with LPH as President. Aside from my involvement with the Department of Communication, I have also spent countless hours working with The Captain’s Log. I started writing articles as a sophomore, and I became the Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor the second semester of sophomore year. My passion for theater in high school combined with my love for music led me to adore writing about the arts. This year I took my dedication for journalism further, spending 40+ hours a week in the Captain’s Log office as the A&E Editor. On top of my school commitments, I also have worked off campus at F.Y.E and Things Remembered all three years I’ve been living in Newport News, both retail stores at Patrick Henry Mall. I also work at those stores when I go home for breaks in Mechanicsville. Unlike many of my peers, I do not have the financial support of my parents to help me pay for college or with living expenses. I live off campus, and I am supporting myself financially: paying for my rent, bills and other living expenses. It is with the help of financial aid, student loans, and scholarships that has allowed me to afford my tuition, and even though my financial situation often has me struggling, I feel proud that I am doing this on my own, making a difference in my own life. When I was 14, my father had a heart attack, and soon after lost his job at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The medical bills and acquired debt put a great strain on our family, financially and emotionally. Just two years later and a week after my 16th birthday, he suffered another massive heart attack, this one fatal. That was almost five years ago, and since then, I have learned a lot about love, life, and loss. My dad was an exceptional human being. A walking encyclopedia, he could always answer my questions help me with any of my problems. He worked so hard his entire life for his family, and his hard work instilled in me from a very young age how important it is to be able to take care of yourself, even when all the odds are against you. Although I struggle and sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all of my campus and off-campus involvements, I know that I am bettering myself for the future and that my hard work will pay off one day. I have one more year left in my undergraduate career at CNU, and I intend to make the very most of it, because even though life might not always be fair, it always goes on.