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NIAF, partners help L'Aquila students continue studies in U.S.

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Pictured above, some of the displaced University of L'Aquila Students who were brought to the U.S. to complete their studies with NIAF's help. (Top row, left to right) Angela Scanzano, Antonella Imperiale, Berardo Artieri, Carla D'Amato, Giuseppe D'Arcangelo, Margherita De Luca, Nicoletta Giordani, Paola Di Giampietro, (Bottom row, left to right) Sara Gemini Piperini, Viviana Festa, Eugenia De Laurentiis, Lidia Rommeri, Luca Lugini, Luigi Tonti, Marco Mettiamo and Valerio Paoni.

Following the earthquake in Abruzzo, the following academic institutions partnered with NIAF and the U.S. State Department to bring 52 displaced University of L'Aquila students to the U.S. to continue their educations.

Sierra Nevada College
University of Miami
University of New Mexico
University of Pittsburgh
CUNY -- College of Staten Island
Westchester Community College
Robert Morris University
Villanova University

In preparing for their trip to the U.S., many of the above former L'Aquila University students eloquently wrote to NIAF about how the earthquake changed their lives.

"One day you have all, and one day you have nothing," wrote Annalibera Schiavo about her sudden change in fortune.

"I remember that night," wrore Giuseppe D'Arcangelo."People were in the streets dressing with the clothes they had taken while they are running away from their homes."

"During that night I lost my cousin and her sons, my father lost two uncles and his cousin and her daughter," wrote Nicoletta Giordani, who was at home with her family in L'Aquila when the earthquake struck. "I also lost a lot of dear friends and relatives. During that night I lost my city, and I lost my place."

"Everyone has lost someone or something in this earthquake..." wrote Sara Germini Piperini. "Unfortunately, not all of my friends were alive, and [some] of my friends had parents under the debris while others had lost relatives and friends...but I hope one day to see L'Aquila rebuilt, and respect shown for all of the people that died."

"After this horrible experience I have learned to appreciate everyday life and all the small things," wrote Carla D'Amato. "You really only understand their true value when you risk losing them. I've also realized the importance of enjoying every single moment of your life."