Padua Student Wins Essay Contest

Renee stands with her parents after accepting her award.

Kaitlin M.

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Renee P., an excellent Italian student and essay writer, received news last week that she had won first place in the “What it Means to Be an Italian American” essay contest. She was asked to attend an award ceremony for her achievement, where she received the $1000 first prize.

She began the essay writing process by e-mailing her family members and asking what it meant for them personally to be an Italian American. She started there because she views her family as the biggest part of her heritage and culture. Renee was also inspired by a book she has been reading in Italian class, Non Saltanto un Baule, which contains the moving stories of Italian immigrants. She wanted to convey the struggles of Italian immigration which she had read about in the book and knew her own family had experienced.

Renee did not write the essay with the sole purpose of winning, but to simply express her pride at being Italian. She plans on living out her love of her Italian heritage by opening an Italian restaurant, because she believes that through food, someone can experience the entire culture. Renee would like people to know how wonderful the Italian culture truly is.