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scholarships toronto

Villa Charities Scholarship Program

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 any heritage, who will help further Villa Charities’ mission of enriching lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage.

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.

Virtual Awards Ceremony

On November 5, 2020, we celebrated the winners of the inaugural Villa Charities Scholarship Program with a virtual awards ceremony. The eight recipients were joined virtually by their families and members of the Villa Charities, Columbus Centre and Foundation leadership team and Boards to honour each winner.

Click here to watch the virtual ceremony.

Undergraduate Student Scholarship – Award Winners

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Daniela Fisico

  • School: Western University
  • Program: Bachelor of Arts, Media, Information and Technoculture
  • Essay excerpt: My Nonna and Nonno made an unbelievable sacrifice leaving their homeland alone hoping to reap the benefits of Canada. Their decision to leave all of their family behind motivates me to give back to others and celebrate Italian traditions to honour my grandparents.

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Melissa Gatti

  • School: University of Waterloo
  • Program: Bachelor of Arts and Business, Major: History
  • Essay excerpt: Through the Honours Arts and Business Co-op program, I plan to continue enriching lives through services and experiences that will honour my Italian heritage and continue to fuel the cultural mosaic of our country. Being a student at St. Jerome’s University College at the University of Waterloo, I look forward to attending Italian language circles with fellow students, where we can practise the language and nurture the culture in the lives of Italians and non-Italians.

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William Goddard

  • School: University of Toronto
  • Program: Bachelor of Arts, Major: Ethics, Society and Law
  • Essay excerpt: I value education tremendously. Academia is one of the means by which I will continue my Nonno’s mission to create a better future for my family. The classroom is an environment for me to work hard, be honest, and demonstrate the worth of those with Italian backgrounds.

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Luca Ramelli

  • School: Queen’s University
  • Program: Bachelor Science, Major in Environmental Science
  • Essay excerpt: 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.

Graduate Student Scholarship – Award Winners

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Alessandra Cicci

  • School: University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
  • Program: Master of Global Affairs and Master of Public Policy
  • Essay excerpt: 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.

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Celina De Biasio

  • School: University of Ottawa School of Medicine
  • Program: Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Essay excerpt: My drive, passion, and work ethic are all influenced by my family’s immigration experiences and my Italian upbringing. Like Villa Charities, I have made a conscious effort to enrich the lives of my community while honouring my Italian culture and heritage by integrating Italian studies into my learning and advocating for vulnerable populations.
  • My mission as a future Italian Canadian physician is to support the Italian Canadian community by creating a culturally sensitive practice that integrates my patients’ cultures into their care plans.

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Cessidia De Biasio

  • School: Queen’s University, Smith School of Business
  • Program: Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Essay excerpt: My passion for honoring my Italian heritage, advocating for immigrants and youth, and inspiring people to explore the Italian in all of us, will continue beyond my MBA. “Enriching lives through experiences and services that honour everyone’s cultures” while promoting unity and collaboration will help me build enlightened communities for generations to come.

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Demille Odoardi

  • School: Queen’s University
  • Program: MSc Program in Anatomical Sciences
  • Essay excerpt: From a young age I was immersed in such a beautiful culture, where I learned that bringing people together and fostering a strong sense of community is incredibly important. As I grew older, I realized that I, too, wanted to create the same sense of togetherness that my Nonna brought to her community and to her family.

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.

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.

 


The Villa Charities Renzo Pillon Memorial Scholarship at George Brown College

 Artem Tekoutiev, Jackie Kemp, Justin Horvath and Kayleen Tosello are outstanding students, enrolled in the 3-year architectural technology program.

They are all proud and extremely valuable participants of a unique research project: Virtual Reconstruction of Lost Architectural Heritage in Abruzzo, Italy (Collaboration between College faculty, the Region of Abruzzo, Italy and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage & Activities, Italy).

The project’s principal investigator is Prof. Pietro Ferrari, Program Coordinator for the Architectural Technology program at George Brown College.

Pietro is one of our academic leaders; a highly regarded member of the architectural and construction community, who serves as Vice President for CanBIM, Canada’s leading BIM (Building Information Management) Association.

Artem Tekoutiev

  • Program: T109 – Architectural Technology
  • Essay excerpt: I was asked to assist in some areas of the project where I would have to virtually reconstruct some of the lost architectural heritage in the Abruzzo province of Italy. This was the first time I took part in a project dedicated to Italian heritage and I was captivated by the beauty, design and history of this country.

Jaclyn Kemp

  • Program: T109 – Architectural Technology
  • Essay excerpt: It would be an exciting opportunity to work on a research project that has a real-world impact on the Abruzzo region, where the model our team develops, could be used for scientific analysis, educational purposes, as well as promote tourism to the area. The Villa Charities scholarship would help me make professional connections within the industry, leading to future employment opportunities.

Justin Hovarth

  • Program: T109 – Architectural Technology
  • Essay excerpt: I have been fortunate enough to be able to work on two projects with a particular interest in Italian culture and heritage thanks to my program coordinator, Pietro Ferrari. Pietro’s research projects in Italy have led to my working on a studio project focusing on a cultural interpretative center for his ancestral village of Villavallelonga in which I proposed a tranquil community space where the inhabitants of the peaceful valley can gather around their shared heritage and appreciate the ruins of their ancient church and are fully preserved artifacts. I am looking forward to falling in love with another place from the historied country and doing my part to help preserve some memory of it.

Kayleen Tosello

  • Program: T109 – Architectural Technology
  • Essay excerpt: I am honoured to be a participant in this project because it has brought me closer to my Italian heritage and roots. My grandparents from both my maternal and paternal side immigrated to Canada for a better life.

The Villa Charities Renzo Pillon Memorial Scholarship was awarded to four students who are enrolled in the 3-year architectural technology program at George Brown College, and are proud participants of a unique research project: Virtual Reconstruction of Lost Architectural Heritage in Abruzzo, Italy (Collaboration between College faculty, the Region of Abruzzo, Italy and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage & Activities, Italy). 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.

To learn more about the 2021 Scholarship Program, click here.