Angela Valentino earns DiFiore Scholarship
April 7, 2017

Angela Valentino (third from right), the Rev. Richard Fragomeni (right), and Valentino family members at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii.

Family and friends of the late Antoinette “Toni” DiFiore, a lifelong Near West Side resident who passed away in 2015, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii on March 19 awarded a $1,000 scholarship in her name.

To be eligible, applicants wrote an essay about the person who most influenced them in life. The scholarship went to Angela Valentino, a junior at Walter Payton College Prep, who wrote an essay about her mother, Gilda, as a strong, inspiring woman.

Valentino noted that, “My mother supported my intense love for reading, dance, and music from a young age, and I would not be the same person today if I did not have a childhood filled with the arts and love for the arts.”

Angela and Gilda “live on the stretch of Lexington Street honorarily named for my maternal grand mother, Angela’s great-grandmother, Angela DeVito,” Gilda Valentino said.

The Rev. Richard Fragomeni, rector of the shrine, and Vincent Arpino, DDS, a nephew of Mrs. DiFiore, presented the scholarship “Angela and her family are longtime residents of the neighborhood, and they attend Pompeii regularly,” Arpino said. Angela Valentino received her scholarship on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, at the Shrine after the 12:15 p.m. Mass. The scholarship committee also provided Chicago Cubs jerseys to her and to Fr. Fragomeni.