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Snakes and Stand-Up

Edward Mazzetta is a sociology student at Lebanon Valley College with a growing snake breeding business

By day, Edward Mazzetta ’20 is a traditional college student pursuing his sociology degree at LVC. On the weekends, he is a professional snake breeder with a growing business.

“I was 13 when I realized I wanted to be a reptile breeder after seeing SnakeBytesTV on YouTube,” said Mazzetta. “But even at age 8, I was running around the neighborhood catching frogs.”

Now, Mazzetta breeds snakes including house, rat, corn, and king snakes, and pythons and Columbian boas. These snakes sell between $100-$1,000. He spends his weekends working with and learning from his mentor Andrew Varela, a professional breeder who runs Serpentine Exotics in Virginia.

“My favorite days are when I sell reptiles to kids and adults at reptile expos,” he said. “The smile on their faces makes it all worth it.”

In his entrepreneurial venture, Mazzetta uses multiple skills he developed at LVC, including his business courses with Dr. Kimberlee Josephson, associate dean of the Breen Center for Graduate Success and assistant professor of business administration. He also applies the Spanish he learned from Dr. Fabricio Silva, assistant professor in Spanish, when working with Spanish-speaking clients.

Mazzetta recognizes the importance of earning a college degree. Initially unsure of what he wanted to study, patient advising and interesting elective courses steered him toward his current major. 

“I had battled anxiety and depression since high school, and figured I could use my experience to become a guidance counselor or other professional,” he said. “I have a lot of ideas, but I do know that I was meant to help people.”

Mazzetta is developing his people skills with stand-up comedy related to his passion for snakes. He has performed at open mic nights at the Comedy Zone in Harrisburg and hopes to participate in more in the future. 

“As a sociology major, I want to make people feel happy and included,” he said. “Comedy brings people together, no matter who you are.” 

 

- Bryn Hanrahan, LVC Marketing & Communications