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SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or elissa@niaf.org


SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION

**Visit www.niaf.org/scholarships to Apply Online**
*Application deadline: March 5, 2010*

(WASHINGTON, D.C. -- January 7, 2010)
More than 100 scholarships will be available to students through the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) for the 2010-2011 academic year. The Foundation has awarded millions of dollars in scholarships and cultural grants since its inception in 1976, including more than $1,000,000 in 2009.

NIAF celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. Since NIAF’s inception, the scholarship program has grown from four scholarships of $250 each to more than 100 annual scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 each in the humanities, medicine, engineering, business, music, Italian language and culture, and other specialized fields. Last year, the average scholarship to students in the United States was worth more than $3,000.

“My strongest sense of ethnic identity came from my mother's side,” said Kashmir Hill, a 2009 NIAF scholarship recipient. “My mother would talk about my Sicilian great-grandparents' decision to immigrate to Ohio. As an undergraduate, I realized I was hungry to understand the culture that shaped my ancestors and majored in Italian. My desire to study Italian came from conversations with my grandfather and mother about our Italian roots. I knew going to Duke University that I wanted to learn to speak the language of my ancestors. Given my love and respect for my Italian/Sicilian heritage, I would truly be honored to receive a scholarship from the National Italian American Foundation.”

Applicants either must be of Italian descent, with at least one ancestor who has emigrated from Italy, or a student of any ethnic background majoring or minoring in the Italian language, Italian studies, Italian-American studies or a related field. NIAF scholarship recipients are selected based on academic merit. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 to apply.

Contributors to the NIAF scholarship program include individuals, corporations, and organizations across the U.S. NIAF will also consider matching scholarships with other organizations.

Apply online for a 2009-2010 NIAF scholarship at www.niaf.org. Application deadline is March 5, 2010. To establish a NIAF scholarship, contact NIAF Director of Education and Culture Serena Cantoni at 202/939-3111 or serena@niaf.org.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit www.niaf.org




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