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NIAF Offers Two New Salvatore “Sal” Catanese Scholarships


Natalie Wulderk

– Deadline to Apply: March 1 –

(Washington, D.C. – January 18, 2019) – The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is pleased to announce that it will be launching two new scholarships this year thanks to NIAF Member Salvatore “Sal” Catanese’s generous financial support. Catanese funds the Salvatore “Sal” Catanese Clark County Scholarship and the Salvatore “Sal” Catanese National Scholarship.

NIAF Board Co-Chair Patricia de Stacy Harrison said, “Sal Catanese’s scholarships are an extraordinary contribution and will make a difference in the lives of the scholarship recipients. His financial commitment to help students earn an education is also a reflection of the Italian value of caring about your community. Catanese’s scholarships will connect young people to their Italian heritage and put them on the path to a future of contribution to our civil society.”

The Salvatore “Sal” Catanese Clark County Scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding Italian American incoming freshman who is a graduate of a high school located in Clark County, Nev. The Salvatore “Sal” Catanese National Scholarship is open to an outstanding Italian American incoming freshman anywhere in the United States.

To be eligible for the Catanese scholarships, students must demonstrate financial need and have a GPA of 3.5 (or the equivalent) or higher. Preference will be given to students with Sicilian heritage. These scholarships are renewable for up to four years.

NIAF Board Co-Chair Gabriel A. Battista said, “Sal Catanese’s scholarships align with NIAF’s mission to preserve, protect and promote our Italian American heritage for the next generation of Italian Americans. We at NIAF are thankful for individuals like Catanese who share NIAF’s vision and partner with us to continue our mission.”

Cantanese was born in San Pier Niceto, Messina, located in Sicily, Italy, in 1932. He emigrated with his family to the United States after World War II and settled in Ambridge, Pa. He attended Bethany College in West Virginia and worked full time at a steel mill to pay for his tuition. Catanese then went to Indiana State University to receive his teaching credential. While teaching, he earned a full scholarship to Penn State University and earned his master’s degree in Elementary and Secondary Guidance Counseling.

In 1962, Catanese moved to Las Vegas, Nev., for a teaching position in special education and then became a school guidance counselor at Eldorado High School. He remained there until his retirement in 1994. He spent more than 30 years in the education system and worked with thousands of students. Catanese is also a veteran.

Catanese said, “I am glad an organization like NIAF exists to invest in the next generation of Italian Americans. They are our legacy and we should make sure that they have all of the resources they need to succeed, remember and celebrate their Italian heritage.”

NIAF is now accepting applications for Sal Catanese’s scholarships as well as an additional 28  scholarships in the 2019-2020 academic year. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2019. The decision notification will be sent to applicants on May 6, 2019. For additional information about scholarship opportunities, how to apply, and donation opportunities, contact Julia Streisfeld at or visit:

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit