St. Francis College student honored with $10K award
St. Francis College Communication Arts major Alexa Castelluccio ’17 was awarded the first National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Michael Gargiulo Scholarship in Broadcasting and Communications, a $10,000 award, on Tuesday at the Pier A-Harbor House in Battery Park.
“I am extremely grateful and truly honored to receive this award,” said Castelluccio, a rising senior who hails from Astoria. “This scholarship is such a big help to my family. I now realize that hard work and dedication truly does pay off.”
At St. Francis College, Castelluccio is a member of Terrier TV, helping to produce and appear in a variety of student-created programming. She is also an intern at “The Wendy Williams Show” this summer. Castelluccio previously graduated from St. John’s Preparatory High School in Queens.
In addition to lending his name to the honor, Emmy-award winning journalist and co-anchor of NBC 4 New York’s weekday newscast “Today in New York” Michael Gargiulo was master of ceremonies for the event. Gargiulo is a longtime supporter of NIAF and has emceed the event for five consecutive years. He also has covered the Foundation’s Anniversary Awards Galas in our nation’s capital.
“We are very proud of Michael’s outstanding achievement in the field of broadcasting and remain grateful to his dedication in leading our NIAF event program each year,” said NIAF Board Director Nicholas R. Caiazzo. “NIAF values the importance of education and the role it plays in helping deserving Italian American students, including Alexa Castelluccio, build promising futures.”
Caiazzo presented the scholarship to Castelluccio during the Foundation’s New York Golf Kick-Off Reception. The 12th annual Golf Tournament will be held Aug. 8 at the Old Westbury Golf and Country Club in Old Westbury.
Since NIAF’s inception 40 years ago, the scholarship program has grown from four scholarships of $250 each to dozens of annual scholarships ranging in value from $2,000 to $12,000, each in the Italian language and culture, medicine, engineering, business, law, music and other specialized fields. Last year, the average scholarship to students in the U.S. was worth more than $6,000. NIAF has awarded millions of dollars in merit-based scholarships and cultural grants to undergraduate, graduate, post graduate, medical and law students from across the country.
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