Written by Delia Langefeld for ILF

In the past two years, my experience with Italian has changed my life. In Lyn Scolaro’s 2018-2019 AP Italian class at Prospect High School, I was part of the Redoro Olive Oil International Internship program. My classmates and I prepared for the AP exam in May while simultaneously developing marketing strategies for the Redoro family brand. On my team, I created content for the cosmetic social media account to promote the natural and healthy benefits of Redoro’s products. Working on Lyn Scolaro’s projects in the Italian-American community for four years, I learned the importance of community and connection. These lessons and positivity rang true when my work awarded me an international internship with Redoro in Verona, Italy. With this opportunity, I attended Italian classes at Idea Verona where my entire world view changed. I met students, ranging from ages 18-60, from Spain, Switzerland, Germany, and England, and we were able to connect by speaking Italian. In this place and time, I saw that my work in high school had brought me there-to a classroom communicating with adults from around the globe in a language that would continue to empower and inspire for years to come. Each day after class, I was lucky enough to work at Redoro’s bruschetteria in Verona and help with the company’s commercial activities in Grezzana. Upon returning to the United States, I realized that I had found a home in the Italian culture and community. A month later, I studied the science of pizza-making under Master Chef Leo Spizziri at the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy.

In September 2019, I decided to pursue the Italian major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in addition to my Environmental Studies major. I have been taking Italian language, literature, and history courses, in turn finding my Italian home again. Because of this path that I have walked, the world is much bigger, but seems smaller because the Italian culture is like “home.”