The Scholarship for the Cousins of Angela Coniglio
        In 1912, at the age of twenty-three, Gaetano Coniglio married Rosa Alessi, then nineteen years old, in Serradifalco, Caltanisetta, Sicily. They lived in a region of Italy where Gaetano had been a sulfur miner and a soldier in the Italian army. Dreaming of a new life and new opportunities in America, Gaetano followed his brother Giuseppe to the "new world" in 1913.   Rosa (he called her "Rosina") had their first child, Gaetano (Guy) in Serradifalco in December 1913, and a year later she and the baby joined Gaetano in Pennsylvania.

        In America, the family grew, and eventually settled in Buffalo. In addition to Guy, their children were: Leonard, Raymond, Felice (Phil), Carmela (Millie), Concetta, (Connie), Maria (Mary), Anthony (Tony), and Angelo. Through Gaetano's and Rosa's hard work, they became home-owners and saw their family flourish. Gaetano passed on in 1944, but Rosa lived to welcome and revel in the birth of all twenty-seven of her grandchildren.schol.1.jpg (3730 bytes)

       Angelo married Angie Bongiovanni, and they had two kids; Angelo, and Angela, the youngest grandchild of     Gaetano and Rosa. Angela was a vibrant child who grew into a young woman with many passions: sports of all kinds;   competition; coaching; science and biology; and teaching.   

         For years Angela played goalie on boys' hockey teams; she played hockey and lettered in several other sports at   Amherst Central High School; she played soccer for thirteen summers in the Empire State Games; and she starred in    womens' soccer at Nazareth College, where she set school records for single game assists and career assists. She's a  member of the Athletic Hall of Fame at Amherst High . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . and at Nazareth College.  schol.3.jpg (4046 bytes)

        After college, Angela taught junior and senior high school Science and Biology courses, refereed girls' soccer, and coached girls' track, softball, basketball and field hockey. She was an advocate for women and minorities throughout her career. She loved teaching, and her students enjoyed her classes immensely. One student told a story about how Angela once stood on her head and swallowed gummy-worms in front of a biology class, to demonstrate the process of peristalsis.

        This scholarship uses funds that Angela left on her passing, and is intended to help her cousins achieve a goal she cherished: education. It is both a memorial to and a gift from your cousin Angela.

        The first seven recipients of the Scholarship were: Nicholas Steht, Phil Tiranno, Jordan Knight, Sammy Tiranno, Adam Steht, Natasha Miller, and Jackie Miller Feingold.  

          In 2004,
Julia Coniglio received the award, and in 2005 Chris Tiranno was the 9th recipient.  In 2006, Sarah Lang received it, and in 2007, it went to Bob Coniglio and Emma Feingold.  There were two awards in 2008; Greg Lang and DJ Valint, and three in 2009; Lauren Silvestro, Alessi Miller, and Amanda Skinner Rachel Silvestro received it in 2010, and the 2011 recipient was Tim Valint.  Zach Skinner received it in 2012, Francesca Sowa in 2013, and Alessi Miller in 2015.

          If you want to apply for this scholarship, please contact Uncle Ange, Aunt Angie, Denise Denisco Tiranno, or Maria Sowa Valint, and submit a letter or e-message that states your relationship to Angela and the name of the college or program to which you have been accepted.

          Eligible for this scholarship are any of Angela's cousins descended from Gaetano Coniglio and Rosa Coniglio; and the children and grandchildren, etc. of those cousins.

            The original funds from this award were from Angela's estate.  That amount has been augmented by contributions from Angela's relatives, and twenty scholarships have been awarded in the past twenty  years.  In that time, fund growth and contributions have enabled the award to be increased from $200 to the present $850.

             Below is the letter submitted by Tim Valint.


Dear Aunt Angie and Uncle Angelo,

              I am writing to you for your consideration for the Angela Coniglio Cousins Scholarship. I am the second – and middle – son of Maria (Sowa) Valint, who was Angela’s first cousin. Like my older brother, I was too young to ever get to know Angela for myself, but from what I hear, I think we would have enjoyed each other’s company. My mother has many fond memories of her childhood growing up with Angela, much the way I do with my cousins. I often hear stories from her about Angela, and every story has something in common with the others: Angela’s propensity to make everyone smile.

             I find that Angela and I would have many things in common. I am a soccer player and an overall fit person. From what I hear, Angela was an incredible athlete, good enough to hold her own on the guys’ teams! I can only imagine how much fun it must’ve been to play with her.

             Another thing I have in common with Angela is that we both have played the violin. I have played my violin in 5 different countries for countless different people. I have also taught many young children in the Buffalo Suzuki Strings program the beginning steps of learning how to play the violin. As a teacher, herself, I can only think that Angela would approve.

              My mom has told me Angela was a great Biology teacher. Seeing as that I am attending the University at Buffalo in the fall majoring in Chemical Engineering with a Biology track, I think we could have had quite a few interesting intellectual discussions. This shared love of science will help me to discover and achieve the goals I set for myself in the future. I think that Angela would require only one thing out of my education, that I follow my heart and choose a career that I will love and enjoy.

               In the process of writing this letter, I am glad to say that I learned a lot about a really special person! In memory of my cousin Angela, I would be very much honored to receive the Cousins Scholarship. This gift from her is a way to keep Angela’s memory alive.


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