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CCF awards scholarships to exceptional students of Italian heritage who have shown success in their studies and involvement with their communities. Graduating from school is an achievement that has a profound impact on a student’s life and the lives of their families.

We ensure that Italian American students of great promise have the support they need to graduate through our CCF Scholarship Program. Read on below for the stories of some of our scholars.

Meet Gabriella Picarello

Receiving a Columbus Citizens Foundation Scholarship gave me the opportunity to attend the Mary Louis Academy, a private catholic high school in Queens. So far, my journey at TMLA has been nothing short of amazing!  In my freshmen year I found many ways to get involved at my new school. I joined both the track and cross-country teams, and won three medals. I also got involved in many other activities and clubs, including the cooking club, the book club, the baking club, Students for Animals, Stage Crew and of course, the Italian Club. At the end of the year, I won a Scholar Athlete Award for maintaining a 4.0 average during freshman year while running track and cross-country.


Meet Emily Barrett

A CCF College Scholarship recipient and dual Italian and American citizen, Fashion Institute of Technology graduate, artist, and entrepreneur. She left her corporate job in New York City to pursue the dream of creating inspiring pieces of art and traveling the world. After a backpacking trip across Southeast Asia, she got to work launching her own business, Fox Burrow Designs LLC


Meet Christie Proscia Mazzilli

Christie’s CCF High School Scholarship has motivated her throughout the years, even more so now she considers her future and pursuit of a career in the medical field


Meet Brady Calabrano-Bowen

The best part is waking up every day and being able to walk to the Colosseum after school and listening to everyone around you speak Italian. The most memorable experience has been the amazing Italian food. It is undeniably the best food in the world.


Meet Joceyln Orlando

With the support of CCF, Jocelyn was able to spend three months in the “Eternal City” of Rome. “Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine, particularly in Italy, and I am extremely grateful to have been able to go there..."



Meet Gianpiero Arnone

Even before the pandemic, Gianpiero spent his time volunteering his time to mix both of his passions: basketball and helping people.

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Meet Bree Parker

Bree graduated Spring 2021 from Cornell University with a Statistical Science major and three minors

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Meet Maria Calise

Maria’s aspiration in life is to become an attorney for her own firm and exonerate the wrongly accused

Read More About Maria

Meet John Schiano

While being extremely school oriented, John’s favorite thing is to give back and raise money to help others

Read More About John

In the coming weeks, CCF plans to roll out more spotlights on some of our scholarship recipients and their successes. Should you have any questions or are interested in participating, please reach out to Madi at or Michelle at

Meet Gabriella Scala

Staten Island native and CCF YAA member, Gabriella Scala, graduated from the University of Connecticut with her bachelor’s degree and is currently working on her doctorate.


Meet Richard Jackowitz

By age 5, Richard knew he wanted to one day pursue a career in the medical field. As time went on, he grew a passion for animals and his dream of becoming a veterinarian came into fruition.


Meet Jenna Guardino

Throughout high school, Jenna Guardino knew she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. In order to chase these dreams, she volunteered at her local hospital shadowing people working in occupational therapy and physical therapy. She quickly realized that those two paths, although amazing, were not for her. It wasn’t until later she realized she wanted to become a nurse.

Read More About Jenna

Meet Bethany Bonfiglio

From a very young age, Bethany has always loved creating things. In middle school, she spent a lot of time drawing with regular graphite pencils on her homework. As time progressed, she developed an interest in painting and was enthralled by the stories art could tell. She enrolled in The High School of Art and Design and learned more about painting.

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Meet Danielle Nicoletti

Danielle Nicoletti, graduated in 2022 with a double major in both Nursing and Public Health. As an anatomy and physiology tutor, member of the Dean's Advisory Council, and writer for TCNJ Quality & Safety Education for Nurses Newsletter, Danielle was deeply involved in school. She has worked as a patient care technician for the last two years, volunteered with Rachel's House, an organization that provides support to single pregnant women, and interned with Once Upon a Preemie, while maintaining incredible grades.

Read More About Danielle

Meet Colette Chiodi

Colette Chiodi is a former high school and college scholarship recipient. She grew up in Brooklyn, NY and attended Bishop Kearney High School. She graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Political Science and a Journalism and Mass Communication minor. Upon graduation, Colette began her career in media planning and strategy for an advertising agency in Manhattan. She has worked across several agencies expanding into marketing operations, focusing on consumer healthcare with clients such as Pfizer.

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Meet Romina Tarnovsky

Romina is interested in pursuing a career as an animator, music producer, lawyer, or psychologist... and  hopes one day to be able to repair intricate computers and machines.

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Romina Tarnovsky

Meet Samantha Fordell

Samantha Fordell is a Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major and Freshman at St. John’s University...intrigued by a career in audiology and eager to strengthen her dreams.