endowment

University student aims to honour past, help other students’ futures

 

By Ron Giofu

Addolorata De Luca grew up in a poor family, obtained a Grade 3 education and was widowed, forcing her to bring up five children.

De Luca came to Canada and provided for her family, doing whatever it took to provide for her family including washing dishes, planting vegetables for local farmers and working long hours picking tomatoes.

Now, many years later, her granddaughter is remembering her struggles and wants to give back to the community in her name.

Cessidia DeBiasio created the Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship two years ago with the aim of not only giving back to University of Windsor students, but to honour her ancestors and the ancestors of others.

DeBiasio, who was born and raised in Amherstburg and is a graduate of St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, said people in Windsor-Essex County have many stories of how the generations before them came to the area to make lives for themselves.

“Everyone has a story you can relate to,” said DeBiasio, “whether they have stories of where they came from or where their family came from.”

Cessidia DeBiasio, an Amherstburg native now attending the University of Windsor, has created the Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship. She holds a sponsorship card that is given to those who donate to her cause.

Cessidia DeBiasio, an Amherstburg native now attending the University of Windsor, has created the Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship. She holds a sponsorship card that is given to those who donate to her cause.

DeBiasio is fundraising to help establish the scholarship, which she hopes will become an annual award. The endowment has to raise $40,000 in order that a deserving student can receive a $1,500 scholarship. She said the recipient will be selected by the University of Windsor’s student award and financial aid committee.

A graduate of the University of Windsor’s School of Social Work in 2015, she is still at the university pursuing a business degree and hopes to have a career involving corporate social responsibility.

While she has created the scholarship two years, she has been actively fundraising for the last 18 months in addition to her studies and other aspects of her life.

“It’s been a lot of work doing this,” said DeBiasio, with the 23-year-old believing she is one of the youngest people to pursue such an endeavor.

DeBiasio pointed out she has raised almost $20,000 thus far towards the scholarship. She has no timetable to raise the remainder of the $40,000, but would like to do so sooner rather than later.

“The sooner I can raise it, the better,” she said. “All donations are appreciated.”

For further information or to donate to the scholarship, visit www.adlscholarship.com, or e-mail info@adlscholarship.com. People can also visit the scholarship’s Facebook page by searching “The Addolorata De Luca Leadership Scholarship.”