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Award recipients and education committee members at the NFIAS 47th Annual Awards and Scholarships Gala, from left are Dr. Raffaella Pernice; scholarship recipient, Maria Ferraro; President Dr. Arnaldo A. Ferraro; Diane Picucci; Lori Bambina; scholarship recipients Jenna Percia and Adriana Borrometi and Dr. Edward Jackson.

The 47th NFIAS Gala

The National Federation of Italian American Societies, Inc. headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, held its 47th Annual Awards and Scholarships Presentation Gala. The recipients of the NFIAS Scholarship were Jenna Percia and Adriana Borrometi from Fontbonne Hall Academy and Maria Ferraro from New Utrecht High School. Dr. Edward Jackson, Diane Picucci, Professor Raffaella Pernice and Lori M. Bambina, members of the NFIAS Education Committee, presented the awards.

Founder and President of the National Federation of Italian American Societies, Inc., Hon. Arnaldo A. Ferraro, Ph.D., said, “It is fitting and appropriate to honor those individuals, men and women, who have contributed so much to the improvement of our society and who have so magnanimously affected the lives of so many by exhibiting great moral character and courage. The most important requirement for the choice of the honorees is their integrity of character, a deep sense of altruism and dedication to the community. All four of the 2019 honorees fulfilled these requirements.”

The recipient of the Outstanding Professional Educator Award was Dr. Giovanni Durante, Principal of Syosset High School. Receiving the Outstanding Public Service Award was Vincent A. Tummino, retired NYC Fireman and founder of the International Columbia Association. Vincent has received numerous recognitions, including the title of Cavaliere from the Italian Republic.

The recipient of the 2019 Successful Educator Award was Mrs. Louise Verdemare Alfano, Principal of PS 112 in Brooklyn. For the past five years, Mrs. Alfano has established the first New York City dual Italian and English language school.

Receiving the Distinguished Educator Award was Dr. Donna M. Chirico, Dean of the School of Arts of York College, CUNY. Dr. Chirico is the President of Italian Language Intercultural Alliance (ILICA) and the Chair of the Italian American Faculty, Executive Board Member of the Italian American Studies Association and a member of the advisory Board of the Dante Alighieri Society of New York.