We are thrilled to congratulate Sarah McGonigle, an Art Education Major student from the University of Dayton, who was awarded Athena’s prestigious $8,000 Michele Iavagnilio Charitable Service Scholarship! Sarah will be studying at Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute (LdM) in Florence, Italy Spring 2019. She is from the local area near our office in Greenville, PA, so for the first time we had the privilege of awarding this scholarship in person! She thought she was being interviewed as another part of the application process for the scholarship, but in reality we planned to surprise her with the scholarship in person. She had no idea! Watch the fun unfold in the video above!
WHAT IS THE IAVAGNILIO CHARITABLE SERVICE SCHOLARSHIP?
The Iavagnilio Charitable Service Scholarship is designed for the Athena student who can best demonstrate a commitment to and active participation in charitable service in his or her community. Because we at Athena place a very high value on giving back to the world, this scholarship is aimed at rewarding students that have a history of taking initiative to make the world a better place through charitable service.
Michele Iavagnilio was the son of a professor at LdM in Florence -a young man who, through his work at the Cireneo Onlus Foundation, selflessly dedicated his efforts to helping and teaching autistic children everything from the simplest everyday task of tying their shoelaces, to more difficult concepts of expressing emotions or needs. He would even go above and beyond his basic job duties by recycling his old toys to present as gifts to the children to make their lives happier and brighter. Tragically, Michele died at the age of 25 in the devastating earthquake in the Italian city of L’Aquila in April 2009. This scholarship honors his spirit of giving back and dedication to charitable work through the recognition of students who possess the same giving spirit that was at the core of Michele’s life.
We are so happy to make study abroad as accessible as possible to as many students as we can! For more on Athena’s commitment to charitable giving, read all about our SOS Charitable Commitment.