Top two discuss two different paths

Q&A with William Floyd’s val and sal


William Floyd High School’s valedictorian, Eric DiGiacomo, and salutatorian, Merry Vo Nguyen, took the time to speak with the Long Island Advance about their future and advice for their fellow 2023 classmates.


Eric DiGiacomo

Hometown: Shirley

GPA (weighted) 104.788   

College: Stony Brook University 

Major: Computer Science

Activities: All-State Piano Showcase Nominee, Youth and Government (president), National Honor Society (co-president), Wind Ensemble (president), Jazz Ensemble (principal saxophone), varsity tennis player, and Science Honor Society member.

ADV: What is your favorite high school memory? What will you miss about William Floyd?

ED: My favorite high school memory has to be my time spent playing the saxophone in the school Wind Ensemble. What I will miss most about William Floyd is the people I’ve met. I’ve grown close to a lot of the teachers and staff over the past four years, and I’m going to miss the time I get to spend with them. 

ADV: What advice do you have for your graduating class?

ED: If I could give one piece of advice to the class, I would say to never let an opportunity pass you by. There’s nothing worse than regretting not taking a chance to try something new. 

ADV: What are your plans for the future? What do you hope to achieve in your life?

ED: My plans for the future are to dedicate myself to obtaining my bachelor’s degree and continue on to attend graduate school to obtain a master’s degree in computer science. I hope to land a position that offers something new and exciting to the field. In my life, I hope to produce something that makes a real positive change in the world. I want to do what I can to help the lives of others in a significant way.

ADV: What will you be doing this summer?

ED: This summer, I will be working to save up money for college and plan on self-studying the programming language Python. I also hope to find the time to read more often.


Merry Vo Nguyen

Hometown: Shirley

GPA (weighted) 103.256

College: Cornell University

Major: Biological Sciences

Activities: Student Member of the Year for the Shirley Community Ambulance, 2022, president of the Medical Club, president of the Science Honor Society, president of the Foreign Language Honor Society, treasurer of the National Honor Society, member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and member of the Stony Brook STEP Program.

ADV: What is your favorite high school memory? What will you miss about William Floyd?

MVN: My favorite high school memory is the music department field trip to Philadelphia and New Jersey. We went on a cultural tour of Philadelphia! It was an overnight trip. I had so much fun visiting new places, trying new food, and learning about the history of the place. This field trip allows me to create lasting memories with my friends outside of the classroom. I got to take so many photos and visited the cool Ben Franklin Institute - Philadelphia Science Museum. It was truly an amazing experience. 

ADV: What advice do you have for your graduating class?

MVN: The future is uncertain. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take calculated risks. Embrace change and view it as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. The path to success often involves embracing uncertainty and pushing boundaries. Life will present you with challenges and setbacks. Persevere through difficult times, and remember that setbacks are temporary, while determination and perseverance are enduring.

ADV: What are your plans for the future?

MVN: For now, I plan to obtain my bachelor’s from college and then continue to medical school. After medical school, I wished to do my residency in emergency medicine. I hope to stay on Long Island and work in a hospital as an attending in the emergency department. Also, I planned to acquire my EMT certification in college. I’m a student volunteer for my local community ambulance right now and I hope to continue with EMS even after I graduate from high school. 

ADV: What do you hope to achieve in your life?

MVN: I hope that I will become a great doctor that left an impact on somebody’s life. I want to make a positive difference in the lives of others by contributing to my communities and society. I will continue volunteering and working in health care so I can serve my community. I also wish to have financial stability in the future so I’ll have the ability to support myself and my loved ones. I would be able to perform charities and give back to my communities. I would like to return to my home country of Vietnam one day as a medical professional so I can provide free health services to struggling, poor families. 

ADV: What will you be doing this summer?

MVN: This summer, I’ll be working to save money for college. I will continue with my community service. I will volunteer with my local community ambulance over the summer before I go off to college. I will use my free time to catch up on my reading. I have several books that I plan to read. I plan to hang out with my friends for the last time before we all go off to college and go our separate ways.


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