Snowboard and study: Discipline key to Rodriguez’s success |

Snowboard and study: Discipline key to Rodriguez’s success

Like many people of his age, 18-year-old Dan Rodriguez snowboards, loves soccer, hangs out with his friends on weekends and enjoys travel.

But unlike most teenagers, the Nevada Union High School senior has a 4.2 grade point average and an unflinching focus on making it big in life.

Come fall, Rodriguez will attend the University of Southern California as an undeclared engineering major, he said. He’ll receive about $10,000 a year in a USC Dean’s scholarship, said Barbara Ross, scholarship coordinator with the high school district.

“I’m pretty regimented when it comes to school work,” Rodriguez said, discussing his key to success. “I hate to procrastinate. If I get an assignment for a week later, I want to start it that very night.”

Rodriguez attributes his penchant for science to his father, who’s a retired atmospheric scientist from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His strong social skills come from his mother, who retired as the vice-president of human resources at Sun Microsystems, he said.

Despite his high academic records, Rodriguez is no bookworm. He plays classical music on the piano and is working on a piece from Schubert. He also finds time to visit the gym, run two miles a week and maintain a relationship, he said.

“It can be done easily,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get an A.

“Every student has to determine the amount of time he needs to put in to school work,” he added. “Everyone is capable of achieving higher education. But in the end, it’s up to them how on how good they want to be.”

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