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Villa Charities Announces Winners of Inaugural Scholarship Program

Villa Charities introduces scholarship program to honour Italian culture and heritage

TORONTO – September 22, 2020 – Villa Charities is excited to announce the winners of its inaugural national scholarship program for post-secondary undergraduate and graduate students. The Villa Charities Scholarship Program was launched in April and is available to students of all backgrounds and faiths, who will help further Villa Charities’ mission of enriching lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage.

“Each of the inaugural award recipients submitted impactful and heartwarming essays that clearly articulated the importance of their Italian culture and heritage and how it aligns with Villa Charities’ mission,” said Anthony DiCaita, President and CEO, Villa Charities Inc. “These students are to be commended for their hard work and academic achievements. I wish them all the best in their upcoming school year.”

The Villa Charities Scholarship Program includes a total of 16 scholarships valued at $60,000. Eight of the sixteen scholarships are awarded through Villa Charities Foundation in support of undergraduate and graduate-level studies in a variety of disciplines. The remaining eight scholarships are awarded through George Brown College in Toronto, in support of students pursuing a degree in Architectural Studies or Culinary Arts.

Villa Charities announced the eight winners of their Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships today.

Villa Charities Undergraduate Student Scholarship Recipients

Four awards of $2,500 were presented to the following full-time Undergraduate students:

  • Daniela Fisico, Western University, Bachelor of Arts: Media, Information and Technoculture
  • William Goddard, University of Toronto, Bachelor of Arts, Major: Ethics, Society and Law
  • Luca Ramelli, Queen’s University, Bachelor Science, Major: Environmental Science
  • Melissa Gatti, University of Waterloo, Bachelor of Arts and Business, Major: History

Villa Charities Graduate Student Scholarship Recipients

Four awards of $5,000 were presented to the following full-time Graduate students:

  • Demille Odoardi, Queen’s University, MSc Program in Anatomical Sciences
  • Alessandra Cicci, University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Master of Global Affairs and Master of Public Policy
  • Celina De Biasio, University of Ottawa School of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Cessidia De Biasio, Queen’s University, Smith School of Business, Master of Business Administration (MBA)

These scholarships were awarded by Villa Charities Foundation to students who are registered, full-time students at an accredited college or university, Canadian citizens or have permanent-residence status, and are enrolled for the 2020/2021 academic year. Eligible students were required to demonstrate leadership through community involvement or volunteering, as well as write a submission essay describing how they helped further Villa Charities’ mission.

“Being Italian has enriched my life in so many ways. I am deeply proud of my Italian heritage as it has taught me many valuable things throughout my life. As such, I work to give back to the Italian community in any way that I can.” – Luca Ramelli

“From taking Italian art history classes at the Columbus Centre, to traveling to Abruzzo with Centro Scuola, my parents emphasized the value of learning about our heritage. My family’s love for Italy was also paired with their love for their new home, Canada.” – Alessandra Cicci

The selection and adjudication process was conducted by the Villa Charities Scholarship Awards Selection Committee. Scholarships awarded through Villa Charities Foundation will support the students’ tuition fees for the 2020/2021 academic year.

For more information about the Villa Charities Scholarship Program, please visit villacharities.com/scholarships or contact Cristina Costa, Director of Development, Villa Charities Foundation at 416-789-7011, ext. 321 / ccosta@villacharities.com. There are also opportunities to name a scholarship through sponsoring or alternate funding.

About Villa Charities Inc.

Villa Charities Inc. (VCI) is a registered charity and non-profit organization that enriches lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. For almost 50 years across the GTA, Villa Charities has provided cultural and educational programs and supported culturally sensitive long-term care and independent living apartments for seniors. VCI fulfills their mandate through a broad range of activities, services and facilities, both directly and in conjunction with its affiliates and independent Italian organizations. Affiliates include Columbus Centre and Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery; Villa Colombo Homes for the Aged Inc. in Toronto; Villa Colombo Seniors Centre (Vaughan) Inc. Di Poce Centre; and Italian Canadian Benevolent Seniors Apartments Corporation/Casa Abruzzo Benevolent Corporation with apartments for independent seniors (Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto and Casa Abruzzo). Each of these organizations is an integral part of the Villa Charities family with separate legal status and its own governance Board. For more information visit villacharities.com.

About Villa Charities Foundation

Villa Charities Foundation supports experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. As the charitable arm of Villa Charities, the Foundation provides crucial funding for areas such as senior care, youth services, education and scholarships, cultural programming, and capital needs. For more information, visit villacharities.com/give

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For further information, please contact:

Jessica Patriquin
416-640-5525 Ext. 230

Kathleen Sloan, CM
Director, Marketing and Communications
Villa Charities Inc.
416-789-7011 Ext. 309

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