Teisha Ruggerio ’14 was awarded a $5,000 scholarship by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in collaboration with the National Italian American Bar Association. Scholarship winners were selected based on academic merit and a collection of essays, references and personal information. Ruggiero was one of 100 award winners selected out offrom a pool of approximately 6,000 applicants, and the scholarship will be applied to her Law School tuition.
Ruggiero became involved with NIAF to celebrate her Italian and Italian-American roots. Her great grandparents came from Southern Italy and Sicily and her grandparents lived in Little Italy in New York City. She was particularly close with her maternal grandmother, who introduced her to Italian cultural traditions such as big family dinners, afternoon espresso, and a great sense of community.
“My Italian-American heritage really gave me an identity and association,” said Ruggiero. “That identity helped to shape many of my life decisions, including my educational path, and ultimately my decision to go to law school.”
Ruggiero was presented with the award at the NIAF gala in Washington D.C., where other notable Italian-American guests included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., U.S. Representative Tom Marino and, and Major League Baseball All Star Mike Piazza.