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OSIA Sponsors 3rd Annual National Student Summit

Press Contact: Kylie Cafiero, (202) 547-2900 kcafiero@osia.org

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2004 ­ The Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA), the oldest and largest national organization for men and women of Italian heritage, sponsored their 3rd annual National Student Summit from March 19-21. Bringing 32 students from 14 states to the nation's capital, the weekend summit informs young Italian Americans about OSIA as well as their Italian heritage.

These Italian American high school seniors and college undergraduates kicked off the weekend with a welcome from OSIA National President Joseph Sciame. "We are grateful to the many Sons of Italy® lodges that sponsored these students," says OSIA National President Joseph Sciame. "In the span of one brief weekend these students gained new insights into their heritage, its contributions and ways to promote and defend it."

Summit highlights included a private tour of the work of the Italian artist Constantino Brumidi, whom many consider the ‘Michelangelo of the U.S. Capitol' for his decoration of the Capitol's inside dome and rooms. The Embassy of Italy also opened its doors for a tour and discussion on Italy-U.S. relations.

Other activities included an interactive presentation of the OSIA Web site, www.osia.org, hands-on workshops in which students designed a membership marketing plan for OSIA, a discussion on positive Italian American images with Commission for Social Justice® President Albert De Napoli and an Italian language lesson, courtesy of Washington's Casa Italiana language school.

A local Virginia OSIA lodge, Italia Mia #2796 hosted a farewell dinner for the students. The summit concluded with an evening bus tour of the capital that highlighted the many Italian contributions to Washington.

OSIA has more than 600,000 members and supporters and a network of more than 700 lodges/chapters coast to coast. OSIA works at community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.