Written by: Matthew Marcantonio, an Italian student at Bristol Central High School
I may look like every other high school student, but there is much more to me than a typical American teen. Ciao, mi chiamo Matthew Marcantonio I am a first generation Italian American born and raised in Bristol, Connecticut. The Marcantonio family comes from a small farming village in Italy called Limosano in Campobasso. My grandfather traveled Europe to support his family and then decided to chase the American dream. My father, his twin sister Clelia and his siblings Nick and Gino all moved to New Britain, Connecticut to start “una vita nuova”. This “new life” that they were searching for took root in Bristol, CT with me and my 3 brothers. We grew up on pasta dinners, soccer games and family reunions; never forgetting our past.
I chose to take Italian so I could build a stronger connection with my family. I am the kind of student who gives 110% every day, all day. Because of my commitment to education I’ve been a recipient of the All Academic soccer award and the Coccia Foundation Italian Achievement awards. I’ve maintained a 4.0+ GPA and I am a proud member of the National Honor Society, the Business NHS and the Italian NHS.
My Italian teacher has truly been a great influence throughout my high school experience and her lessons in Italian have opened a door onto future career goals. I hope to pursue a degree in business, and with the guidance of my Italian teacher I am drawn to the idea of international business with a focus in Italian. Throughout this tough year we’ve studied multiple themes. The theme that resonated with me the most was immigration. As a first generation Italian American, I am directly affected by immigration. Through self reflection and discussions in class, I am reminded of the struggles my father and my grandparents faced. Another theme that stuck with me is the topic of identity. Since I am moving on to college I can mold my identity to my liking and my teacher, Mrs. Gallo has certainly molded parts of my identity that will stay with me forever.
In the future, I plan to go to college and use the numerous amounts of advice that was taught to me in italiano. I plan to pass this knowledge on to my future children to be sure to preserve a strong sense of family, history and tradition from Limosano.