NIAF News Releases

NIAF Announces Essay Contest Winners


Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or


*1st Place - $1,000—Alexandra Rongione of Kirkwood, Pa.*
*2nd Place - $500—Meghan O’Brien of East Northport, N.Y.*
*3rd Place - $250—Samuel Caradonna of Stony Brook, N.Y.*

(WASHINGTON, D.C.—June 2, 2011)
Three tenth graders are the winners of the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) Italia 150 Essay Contest. In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy and La Festa della Repubblica (Italian National Day) NIAF asked students “What does it mean to be Italian American in 2011? Why is your Italian heritage and culture important? Alexandra V. Rongione of Kirkwood, Pa., who attends Solanco High School, won first place. Meghan Rose Teresa O’Brien of East Northport, N.Y., who attends John H Glenn High School, took second place and Samuel Aleksander Caradonna of Stony Brook, N.Y., who attends The Stony Brook School, won third place.

The contest was open to high school students from grades 9 through 12. NIAF received 225 essays for consideration. The first, second and third place winners were selected through a review process which included exceptional grammar skills and a high quality of composition.

All winners will receive a complimentary membership to NIAF for one year. In addition to the monetary prize, the first place winner, Rongione, will have her essay published in the fall edition of Ambassador, NIAF’s quarterly publication. She will be able to attend an upcoming NIAF Students to Leaders program, educational workshops that expose Italian American high school students to leaders in varied professional fields.

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

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