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Every year, the most important Italian-American organization in the United States awards scholarships to outstanding students in the summer for use during the following academic year.
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has recently announced that Ariana Alva Ferrari of San Francisco, CA, has received the Maurizio A. Gianturco Scholarship for the ongoing academic year.
Alva Ferrari attends San Francisco State University and is majoring in International Business, while she is currently studying economics at University of Pavia, Italy (Università degli Studi di Pavia).
The annually awards scholarships are made on the basis of academic merit, and divided between two groups of students: Italian American students who demonstrate outstanding potential and high academic achievements, students from any ethnic background majoring or minoring in Italian language, Italian studies, Italian American studies or a related field, who demonstrate outstanding potential and high academic achievements.
"NIAF has awarded millions of dollars in merit-based scholarships and cultural grants across the country since its inception. NIAF’s leadership is extremely proud of the high caliber of our scholarship students and their outstanding achievements," said NIAF President and COO John M. Viola.
Reached by L'Italo-Americano, scholarship recipient Ariana said:
“I am currently studying at the University of Pavia, Italy for the academic year of 2013-2014 through the exchange program with San Francisco State University. The generous Maurizio A. Gianturco Scholarship and NIAF have already gone a long way in helping me achieve my goals of acquiring my International Business degree, build a network in a European nation in which someday I will hopefully be working in, exploring and interacting with my Italian Heritage and promoting community development”.
“Due to financial restrains, I never had the opportunity of traveling to Italy so becoming a recipient of this award meant not only that I could afford the exchange program, but that I would have the chance to reconnect with my Italian family and be challenged to become fluent in Italian Language which would open doors for me as an Intl. Business major.
It has been 4 months since my arrival in Pavia and I could not be happier, I have learned a lot about the lifestyle, culture and even about the economic crisis that has hit Italy and affects many Italian students”.
Jeff Capaccio, NIAF's regional Vice President in San Francisco, declared to L'Italo-Americano: “Providing scholarships to our youth represents one of NIAF’s greatest areas of satisfaction as well as an important investment in our country’s bright future. NIAF continually strives to recognize and reward excellence and in this spirit, we applaud Ariana Alva Ferrari on her achievements and wish her continued success.”
NIAF celebrates its 39th anniversary this year. The Foundation’s scholarship program has grown from four scholarships of $250 each to dozens of annual scholarships ranging in value from $2,000 to $10,000 each in the humanities, medicine, engineering, business, music, Italian language and culture, and other specialized fields. Last year, the average scholarship to students in the United States was worth more than $3,000.
In addition to NIAF’s scholarship program, this year NIAF sent college students to Italy’s Calabria Region to participate in the Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery program, an educational and cultural initiative.
Contributors to the NIAF scholarship program include individuals, corporations and organizations across the United States.
To apply for a 2014-2015 NIAF scholarship, go online at www.niaf.org/ scholarships. Application deadline is March 1, 2014. NIAF scholarship winners will be announced on May 16, 2014 online.