Building connections with OSDIA’s direct beneficiaries

On October 4, the OSDIA Delegation stopped at the American University of Rome (AUR) to visit several students who received scholarships from the Sons of Italy Foundation during previous National Education and Leadership Awards (NELA) Galas. These Galas are annual events held every May in Washington, D.C., in order to honor leaders in the Italian American community, as well as award highly selective scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students of Italian descent for exemplary academic performance, school leadership, and community service.

Members of the delegation and students exchanged views on the younger generation’s perception and participation in the organization. Notably, President Bianchi and his team were eager to hear directly from the youngsters about ideas on how to enhance the engagement of the new Italian American generation at the local, state, and national levels, as well as OSDIA’s role in facilitating this connection.

AUR students were part of twenty remarkable students who were recognized at the 2022 NELA Gala, which was a banner event granting over $130,000 in scholarships, the highest total amount to be awarded to date. Grand and Local Lodges also award many scholarships in their hometown communities. In 2021, the total amount of scholarships awarded throughout OSDIA was nearly $750,000. Since the Gala’s inception in 1989, the SIF and OSDIA have awarded tens of millions of dollars in scholarships.

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