TSDOI Lodge 2817

We exemplify the very best of what it is to be Italian American

TSDOI             Lodge  2817 - We exemplify the very best of what it is to be Italian American


Triangle Sons & Daughters of Italy – Lodge 2817 – 2024 Scholarship Application

This year, our Lodge will award up to two (2) students with a $1,000.00 scholarship to be disbursed for the 2024/2025 school year. Scholarship winner(s) will be selected by May 2, 2024, and recognized at the TSDOI #2817 annual picnic on June 2. Additional details to be given to winners.

Students are eligible to compete for the scholarship if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

Must be a direct descendant of a TSDOI #2817 member (as of 12/31/23) of Italian lineage in good standing, regardless of residence. Applicant will be actively enrolled in post‑secondary education in the fall of 2024. All scholarship decisions will be at the sole discretion of the Scholarship Committee.

Applications will be screened by the TSDOI #2817 Scholarship Committee and will be based on:

  1. Educational quality
  2. The essay. The essay topic must be a typewritten original essay of 500-750 words about a personal experience that demonstrated or generated pride in your Italian heritage.
  3. Commitment to community and/or philanthropic endeavors
  4. Overall appreciation of Italian heritage.
  5. While not required, the applicant has the option to submit standardized test scores if the applicant wishes to do so.

Requirements for Complete Applications:

  1. Official 2024 Application Form: Complete all information in the application form and submit with the other required items.
  2. Resume: Please include academic and professional endeavors, community service participation, hobbies, special interests, employment, etc.
  3. Most recently available transcript.
  4. Essay in legible typed font.
  5. Submission of standardized test scores is optional.

Deadline for Complete Applications: April 2, 2024

Email scanned completed applications to: Karen Bledsoe at karen.bledsoe@gmail.com

Click here for the 2024 TSDOI Scholarship Application Form

Triangle Sons & Daughters of Italy – Lodge 2817 – 2023 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to our 2023 scholarship winners, Olivia Bledsoe, Ian Manns, and Joseph Polinski.

Olivia Bledsoe 

Olivia is the daughter of long-time member Karen Palermo Bledsoe.  She learned about her family’s history in Calabria, Italy when she obtained dual citizenship in 2020.  Olivia enjoys attending events at TSDOI and helping at Festa Italiana – these make her appreciate the strong Italian community.  She is currently in Italy exploring her roots in the tiny village of San Donato di Ninea.  With a 4.56 GPA, Olivia had enough credits to graduate a semester early from Voyager Academy and attend the Outward Bound Spring Gap Semester in Colorado.  This experience built upon her outdoor leadership and wilderness skills gained from her summers as a Guide in Training in Boundary Waters.  Olivia is an accomplished piano player and long-distance runner.  She was Student Athlete of the month this past fall and has completed three half marathons as well as a 20-mile mountain run.  Olivia also earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, which required more than 50 hours of activity. Olivia will attend UNC Chapel Hill and plans to major in Biomedical Engineering and minor in Neuroscience. She plans to learn Italian in hopes of returning to Italy for graduate school.

Ian Manns

Ian is the grandson of long-time members Tony and Jan DiSantostefano.  He started to appreciate his Italian legacy when he saw the ship manifest for his maternal great-grandparents at Ellis Island as a young boy.  He inquired about his ancestry and learned that his great-grandparents and great uncle worked extremely hard and were very resilient – this initiated a great pride in his heritage.  Ian appreciates the emphasis in Italian culture on hard work, family, and tradition, especially the memories made playing bocce and cards and having dinners with his extended family. He appreciates that the recipes of his ancestors have been shared with him. An excellent student with a 4.45 GPA, Ian has played soccer for thirteen years and has dedicated his free time to mentoring young soccer players or working with players in the Special Olympics and Miracle League.  He is a member of both the National Honor and National Technical Honor Societies and received the Hamilton Sportsmanship Award as a youth soccer player. His interest in health research led to his involvement in the East Chapel Hill High Medical Club to discuss and learn about various careers in the medical field.  Ian loves to travel, read, engage in outdoor sports such as skiing, ziplining, and mountain biking, and learn about psychology. He also worked during the summer at the Burlington Coat Factory, and this summer Ian will serve as a sports camp counselor and shadow a nurse anesthetist this summer. Ian will be attending Case Western in the fall; he has been accepted into the Nursing program and will play on the men’s soccer team. He hopes to familiarize himself with Cleveland’s Little Italy.

Joseph Polinski

Joseph is the grandson of long-time members Jay and Vivian Dewey.  He wrote about traditions that generated pride in his Italian heritage, especially the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  He loved learning about La Befana from his grandma, and he looks forward each year to celebrating Easter with family — and Pizza Rustica.  Ian appreciates the fact that no matter which tradition is being honored, being Italian means placing a huge emphasis on love and family.  First in his class at Pender Early College with a 4.5 GPA, Joseph will also receive an Associate degree in Science for Mechanical Engineering Technology and a CAD Drafting Certificate from Cape Fear Community College this spring.  An officer in the high school Science Olympiad team, he has received numerous medals at competitions, and he helped lead his Chemtechathon team to first place!  Joseph gives back to the community by coaching and judging for Science Olympiad, volunteering at the local food bank, and serving as a juror for the local Teen Court.  In his free time, he enjoys mixed martial arts and weightlifting.  He participated in the 2021 Summer Ventures Program at UNC Wilmington, where he wrote a scientific research paper. Ian will attend North Carolina State University and study Nuclear Engineering.

Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA) Merit Scholarships:

Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA) also awards merit scholarships. For more information please click on this link: http://www.osia.org/programs/scholarships

Donate to the Scholarship Fund

Consider making a memorial contribution in the memory of a loved one.

If a donation of $750 or more is received as a memorial, the awarded scholarship will be named after your loved one.

You can donate on-line (see links below) or you can send your donation (any amount is welcome) in the form of a check, payable to TSOI -2817 to:

Treasurer: Mary Muth
115 Beasley Court
Cary, NC 27513

Please indicate if it is regular donation or a memorial donation.

Scholarship Donation $10

Scholarship Donation $25

Scholarship Donation $50

Scholarship Donation $100

Memorial Scholarship Donation $750

NOTE on TAX DEDUCTION: “Donors may wish to treat their contribution to the TSDOI Scholarship Fund as tax deductible since the funds are used exclusively for a charitable purpose dedicated to the advancement of education. TSDOI is a 501 (c) (8) organization (EIN: 20-1478107). Under the provisions of section 170 of the Code, donors may deduct contributions that are used exclusively for charitable and public purposes. The definition of charitable purposes includes the advancement of education.”