The city's 2005 Junior Miss Julie Strauss is part of the first cryptocurrency company to go public on the stock market.
Strauss, a 2006 graduate of Shafter High School, is a member of the CoinBase team in the San Francisco Bay area. Her team marked a milestone last Wednesday as their photos flashed on the Times Square Nasdaq Jumbotron.
Strauss is the Global Head of Enterprise Risk and Controls of the company. CoinBase operates a cryptocurrency exchange platform and their stock was made available to the public for the first time last week. CoinBase is the first cryptocurrency company to go public and is considered by one publication as one of the biggest IPOs in history.
Strauss said that their ultimate goal is to make cryptocurrency the norm in the world.
"We are excited to bring cryptocurrency to the country and show that it really is the future," she said.
Strauss said that it was surreal to see her likeness on that screen.
"A small town girl from Shafter with her face at Times Square, it was really incredible," she said.
Strauss graduated from high school and then headed to Texas Tech where she received her Bachelor's degree in business administration. She then attended Cal State Bakersfield to get her degree in economics.
Strauss said she got into cryptocurrency when she worked for a company in Fresno. She then moved to San Francisco and became the head of the Risk and Controls Department of Coinbase. She said that she would not have been able to accomplish what she has without her background and experience at Shafter High School.
"I can't thank my teachers at Shafter High School enough for instilling that knowledge in me, as well as a good work ethic," Strauss said.
She said another reason for her success is the small town farming community that she grew up in.
"We were farmers who were brought up and taught how to work hard and what that hard work can do," said Strauss.
She makes it back to Shafter every couple of months and will also be speaking at a summer session at the Shafter Learning Center.
"I want to show the kids that no matter where you come from, you can go as far and be as big as you want to be," concluded Strauss.