NIAF and Sierra Nevada College Offer 100 Scholarships To Displaced Students


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

**Students from L’Aquila, Italy to Study in U.S.**

(Washington, DC— May 21, 2009) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe, Nevada have teamed up to offer 100 scholarships for students displaced by the earthquake that struck the city of L’Aquila on April 6, 2009. The NIAF/Abruzzo Adopt-a-Student Program will offer students from the University of L’Aquila full scholarships to continue their academic studies in the United States. The campaign also provides the cost of textbooks, supplies, travel to and from Italy, meal plans and housing in residence halls for the undergraduates.

“NIAF’s goal is to raise $1 million. Every dollar donated helps NIAF meet the needs of so many displaced students,” NIAF President Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq., said.

As a donor to NIAF/Abruzzo Adopt-a-Student Program, a contribution of $500 will cover a student’s cost of textbooks and supplies for one semester; $1,000 will allow for a student’s travel to and from Italy for the academic year; $2,500 will provide a student with a meal plan for one semester; $5,000 will provide one student with housing in a residence hall for two semesters; and $9,000 will cover all non-tuition expenses for one student for an academic year. Donations at all levels will be accepted.

On April 29, 2009, NIAF President Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq. and the Foundation’s secretary John F. Calvelli traveled to Rome and L’Aquila in Italy to meet with prominent officials of the Italian government and the United States Embassy to discuss allocation of funds collected for the Abruzzo relief efforts. Among the priorities identified by the Region was the need to find alternative academic accommodations for the L’Aquila university students who will not be able to continue their studies next year because the university buildings have been destroyed.

Individuals, corporations and foundations who wish to donate to the NIAF/Abruzzo Adopt-a-Student Program can make their donations online at Send checks to NIAF/Abruzzo Adopt-a-Student, 1860 19th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009. All donations are tax deductible.

For more information about NIAF/Abruzzo Adopt-a-Student Program, contact Serena Cantoni, director of education and culture, at 202/939-3111 or

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Americans of Italian descent.