Villa Charities Announces Winners of 2022 Scholarship Program


Villa Charities announces scholarship winners, honouring Italian culture and heritage

TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Villa Charities is excited to announce the winners of its third annual national scholarship program for post-secondary undergraduate and graduate students. The third year of the Villa Charities Scholarship Program was launched in February 2022 and is available to students of any heritage who help further Villa Charities’ mission of enriching lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage.

“I am thrilled that the third year of our scholarship program has been our most successful year yet,” said Marco DeVuono, President and CEO, Villa Charities Inc. “Each of the 2022 scholarship recipients exemplifies the importance of their heritage and how it aligns with Villa Charities’ mission. I am proud that we can support these exceptional students in their future academic endeavours.”

The Villa Charities Scholarship Program includes a total of 16 scholarships valued at $60,000. Eight of the sixteen scholarships are awarded through Villa Charities Foundation in support of undergraduate and graduate-level studies in a variety of disciplines. The remaining eight scholarships are awarded through George Brown College in Toronto, in support of students pursuing a degree in Architectural Studies or Culinary Arts. Four students will receive The Villa Charities Renzo Pillon Memorial Scholarship and four students will be the recipient of the Villa Charities Culinary Scholarship, supported in part by The Food Dudes. Since launching the scholarship program in 2020, more than $160,000 in scholarships has been awarded to students.

Villa Charities announced the eight winners of their Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships today.

Villa Charities Undergraduate Student Scholarship Recipients

(Including The Janet Angela Rinaldi Tribute Scholarships, The KPMG MSLP Scholarship, and The Nortown Air Scholarship)

Four awards of $2,500 were presented to the following full-time Undergraduate students:

  • Karli Chalmers, University of Guelph, Bachelor of Science
  • Joseph Cressatti, McGill University, Bachelor of Commerce
  • Jenna Gulizia, York University, Schulich School of Business, International Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Carla Santini, University of Toronto, Honours Bachelor of Science

Villa Charities Graduate Student Scholarship Recipients

Four awards of $5,000 were presented to the following full-time Graduate students:

  • Renata Ceccacci, McMaster University, Doctor of Medicine
  • Marisa Cressatti, Queen’s University, Doctor of Medicine
  • Madison Dabbs-Petty, University of Alberta, Master of Education in Counselling Psychology
  • Adrian DeBiasio, University of Guelph, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

These scholarships were awarded by Villa Charities Foundation to students who are registered, full-time students at an accredited college or university, Canadian citizens or have permanent-residence status, and are enrolled for the 2022/2023 academic year. Eligible students were required to demonstrate leadership through community involvement or volunteering, as well as write a submission essay describing how they helped further Villa Charities’ mission.

“I try to honour my Italian heritage through learning about my family’s traditions, keeping them alive, and sharing them with others. Whether it be visiting Pier 21 to learn more about my family’s journey, gathering yearly to make sausage and salamis, or even just attending Sunday Mass in Italian, the importance of maintaining our roots has been impressed upon me.” – Joseph Cressatti, Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient

“Recently, I used my Italian with two patients while on my Internal Medicine rotation. Due to pandemic restrictions, these patients were not allowed to have a family member with them. They were alone and anxious. The language barrier added to their heightened anxiety. I was able to ease that anxiety somewhat by conversing with them in Italian. Simply by asking about their roots, I could see the pride of our mutual heritage come through.”

– Renata Ceccacci, Graduate Scholarship Recipient

The selection and adjudication process was conducted by the Villa Charities Scholarship Awards Selection Committee. Scholarships awarded through Villa Charities Foundation will support the students’ tuition fees for the 2022/2023 academic year.

For more information about the Villa Charities Scholarship Program, please visit or contact Cristina Costa, Director of Development,

Villa Charities Foundation at 416-789-7011, ext. 321 /

There are also opportunities to name a scholarship through sponsoring or alternate funding.

About Villa Charities Inc.

Villa Charities Inc. (VCI) is a registered charity and non-profit organization that enriches lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. For more than 50 years across the GTA, Villa Charities has provided cultural and educational programs and supported culturally sensitive long-term care and independent living apartments for seniors. VCI fulfills their mandate through a broad range of activities, services and facilities, both directly and in conjunction with its affiliates and independent organizations. Affiliates include Columbus Centre and Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery; Villa Colombo Homes for the Aged Inc. in Toronto; Villa Colombo Seniors Centre (Vaughan) Inc. Di Poce Centre; and Italian Canadian Benevolent Seniors Apartments Corporation/Casa Abruzzo Benevolent Corporation with apartments for independent seniors (Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto and Casa Abruzzo). Each of these organizations is an integral part of the Villa Charities family with separate legal status and its own governance Board. For more information visit

About Villa Charities Foundation

Villa Charities Foundation supports experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. As the charitable arm of Villa Charities, the Foundation provides crucial funding for areas such as senior care, youth services, education and scholarships, cultural programming, and capital needs. For more information, visit

For further information, please contact:

Jessica Patriquin


416-640-5525 Ext. 230

Kathleen Sloan, CM

Director, Marketing and Communications

Villa Charities Inc.

416-789-7011 Ext. 309