Scholarship Stories

At the National Italian American Foundation, we believe in supporting future generations of our community, which is why we have provided over $7,860,400 in scholarships and grants since 2009. Every donation to our Foundation helps us to not only protect the history and culture of Italian Americans, but also continue the education of our younger generations.

We’d like to introduce you to Brandon Abranovic, from Arizona State University, Class of 2017 – and the recipient of our NIAF Intel Scholarship, to learn more about the deserving students that we support. 

Abranovic_Brandon

While many students nowadays must struggle to balance school and work and are burdened with debt after graduation, the NIAF Intel Scholarship has freed me from financial worries and allowed me to focus exclusively on academics and extracurricular activities.  This has allowed me to engage in many extracurricular activities that have greatly enhanced my educational experience.  For example, during my freshman year, I was offered the opportunity to be involved in a program called EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service).

Through my involvement in EPICS, I was appointed the leader of a small group of engineering students working on a design for an affordable digital high power microscope.  Over the course of a semester and several design iterations, the design developed by my team was successful in developing a working prototype that is now being evaluated for commercialization and large-scale manufacturing.

I believe that this microscope has the potential to enhance education opportunities for millions of low-income students around the world.  My team is currently preparing a technical paper for publication as well as pursuing a patent on several elements of our design.

The NIAF Intel Scholarship is helping me earn credentials and continue to explore the many applications of Chemical Engineering, but most importantly NIAF is allowing me to further my commitment to educating myself and getting me one step closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a professional engineer.

Ellis Island platformBeing Italian American means a lot to me. I am honored and proud to be part of this nurturing and wonderful community – a community that gives me a collective identity, while helping me forge my own individuality by giving me the comfort, security and a sense of belonging to a community.

These historical contributions that Italian Americans have bestowed upon the US are of great importance. Their hard work, traditions and values throughout the history of this country have had an enormous and positive impact and, one day, I hope I will be able to add my own experiences and endeavors to the ever expanding book of the Italian American accomplishments.

Piggy bank

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