Diocesan News

Tri-State Italian-American Congress Scholarships Help Local Families Pay Tuition

Scholarship grants from the Tri-State Italian-American Congress were awarded to 100 young people attending Catholic academies and schools in the diocese during an award ceremony at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Williamsburg, Nov. 29. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio presents an award certificate to a student from Notre Dame Catholic Academy, Ridgewood. In the background is Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, vicar for development. (Photos Matthew O’Connor)

The Tri-State Italian-American Congress held its annual scholarship award prayer service at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Williamsburg Nov. 29.

The Tri-State Italian-American Congress is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide educational opportunities for Italian-American children, to support organizations and charities benefiting Italian-Americans and support other programs and individuals with similar goals.

The $100,000 donation of the organization was destined to provide scholarships for 100 students of Italian-American descent attending Catholic academies and schools in Brooklyn and Queens.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio greeted every child present and distributed their scholarship award certificates.

“Today we recognize the value of Catholic education and many people have helped raise money to help so many children,” he said.

The Tri-State Italian American Congress was formed in 1988 as a nonprofit organization with members who were active Italian Americans that served in their communities throughout the tristate area. Since the beginning it has helped qualified students reach new heights and continue their catholic education.

“This is an early Christmas gift, but probably only the parents see it that way,” the bishop said. “The whole point is to keep our children in Catholic schools.

“We want children in Catholic schools so I tell all the children to tell their friends in public schools to come and look at our schools. Who knows? Maybe there is a scholarship for them too.”

Justin Giacomazza, an eighth grader at Notre Dame Catholic Academy, Ridgewood, was honored to be a scholarship recipient.

“I know this can help my parents in many ways and will help me get a better education. I always try my best for good grades and was lucky enough to be a part of this today.”

Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, diocesan vicar for development, spent time getting to know the children before the service.

“This money really makes the difference of being able to keep the children in our schools. We celebrate the students and their efforts. $100,000 was allotted to the diocese and that money is able to go such a long way to help so many deserving families.”

The Tri-State Italian American Congress its led by its President Louis Vele, Vice President Richard DeSimone, Treasurer/Executive Director Ralph A. Contini, CPA, and Secretary Anthony Bertrami. Philip Del Prete is the  Chairman of the Board Director, which is integrated by Hon. John A. Barone, Thomas Barresi, Vincent P. Brana, Robert Errico, William Fani, George Greco, Lawrence R. Inserra, Jr., Ralph J. Martucci, Edward P. Salzano, Louis Scagnelli, Angelo Tigri, Steve Vasilikos, Ameci Curie, Joseph Di Trapani and John Palladino.

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