Humans of Cape Henry: Michael Russo – Class of 2020


Michael Russo is a native Virginia Beachian who lives with his mom and dad, as most students under 18 do, as well as his 12-year-old dog, Maggie. His older brother Andy is 26 and went to JMU; he also went to Cape Henry and is 9 ½ years older than Michael. Michael started going to Cape Henry in kindergarten and played some little league sports as he grew up more.


After losing interest in most sports, he turned towards music and eventually started playing the viola in fourth grade. Michael played all the way through middle school, and in the 9th grade, he picked up acting as well. His love of acting sprouted from acting out Romeo and Juliet in Mr. Koeze’s 9th grade English class. He was also allowed to get a sports credit, since students need 4 of those to complete high school, by doing the play, which only incentivized him further.


Something most people do not know about him:

Michael is a member of the Bay Youth Orchestra of Virginia, or BYOV for short, a highly prestigious, highly selective symphony orchestra comprised of only 300 young musicians with the desire to learn and play some of the world’s most famous pieces of orchestral literature. As well as musical literature, he also enjoys reading books for fun. Michael is a huge fan of the Harry Potter series.


Best Experiences:

His best experience was discovering that he had successfully made it into the BYOV, and he still plays viola for them. After putting in many years of hard work and practice with the viola, joining BYOV was another step further into his viola career.



Alongside successfully qualifying for the BYOV, Michael also prides himself on his accomplishments in the academic world. He is currently taking 3 AP classes, including Language and Composition, Government, and Chemistry, 3 honors classes, including Precalculus, Journalism, and Spanish IV – a heavy workload indeed.


Tough Experiences and Lessons Learned:

While Michael was growing up, his grandparents passed away. This impacted him when he was younger, helping him learn the importance of life. Later in Middle School, he had learned how to read incorrectly, something most would think is impossible. According to his teacher, he needed to be more analytical while reading books because it made it “easier to see meaning” in stories and books. He eventually adopted a new style of reading, and he continues reading, still loving books and literature.

Hopes and Plans for the Future:

Michael’s ambitions mainly surround going to college and having a family later in life. He is unsure of where he wants to go to college as of now, but he has looked at JMU with influence from his older brother. He hopes to become a journalist/teacher as he gets older, and he wants a family with kids. Also, Michael wishes for his kids to have a broader selection and better opportunities than he has.