This is our Story
Learn why we started
The Addolorata DeLuca Leadership Scholarship
In Honor of Nonna Addolorata
My Nonna Addolorata (pictured on the left) grew up in an extremely poor family and was able to obtain only a grade three education. When she eventually married, she had five children. However, tragedy was soon to hit because her husband, my grandfather (Cessidio) who fought in World War II, died.
As a widow with five children to take care of, one being a six-month-old daughter (my mother), she knew that she wanted to provide her children with a better life. In the years to come, she saved all her money, which was not much, in order to come to Canada, a country known for its opportunities. As a strong matriarch, she demonstrated her courage and determination by trying selflessly and fearlessly to provide for her family. Whether working long hours picking tomatoes, planting vegetables for local farmers or washing dishes at the Ciociaro Club, she always knew that she had to do whatever it took to provide food and shelter for her children.
"Growing up, I always heard about the struggles and sacrifices my maternal and paternal grandparents endured both in Italy and in Canada, after their immigration. My parents instilled in me the importance of appreciating everything my grandparents endured in order to provide their children and grandchildren with a better life."
-Cessidia DeBiasio, Founder
From Italy to Canada
Similarly, my Nonno Vittorio and Nonna Lucia also immigrated from Italy to Canada. As a World War II veteran, my Nonno endured various hardships and sacrifices during and after the War. He came to Canada alone and sent whatever money he could back to Italy where my Nonna Lucia and aunt were living, in hopes that they would one day join him. Once in Canada, my grandparents also worked long hours laying tiles and cleaning houses in order to provide for their children.
Based on these personal stories and stories of other families in Windsor-Essex, I knew I wanted to do something that would honour everyone's ancestors while also giving back to the Windsor-Essex community, a community that our ancestors helped build.
As a result, the premise of the scholarship was born. This scholarship combined my two passions, the need for affordable education and the preservation of our families' stories by providing future generations with opportunities our ancestors never had. I sincerely believe that no matter your family's country of origin, we all share something in common; we are all here today thanks to our ancestors who paved the way for us.