“A model young woman”
TORONTO - Sabrina Maria Baldesarra is, by all indicators, “a model young woman”. She is twenty-two years old; a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from York University to her name; a great love of family and a passion for Italian culture in all its aspects.
On Friday, November 18, the young Italo-Canadian was the recipient of a “humanity” scholarship, named after Leopolda Restaini, for her work as a volunteer in the community. “I feel as honored as I am happy to have been selected by those who saw me as a fit candidate for the award”, she said in an exquisite and impeccable Italian.
She learned that Italian at home. «Both my parents spoke to me in Italian. My mother Nadia is from Introdacqua in Abruzzo, while my father Gaetano, who passed away last year, was from Pescosolido. They taught me Italian - said Sabrina Maria - and, naturally, my grandparents Maria and Pasquale also spoke to me in Italian, so it was easy to absorb the beautiful language».
Sabrina Maria Baldesarra
It has not even been a question of having to “come around full circle” with respect to the Italo-Canadian community. «It has been an ongoing fact of life, thanks to my parents who insisted that I accompany them to all of the feste and that I learn to fall in love with what it means to be Italian». She added, clearly with a smile capable of transcending the technology that permitted our communication, “we listened to and watched Italian language programs.”
Sabrina Maria, resident of Woodbridge, is committed to ensuring the survival of those values that her parents and grandparents transmitted to her. «I think it is important to maintain our traditions and our language, even in the future - she says with conviction - even though I recognize that many of my cohort group no longer speak Italian, I have been fortunate enough to benefit from the commitment of my parents and grandparents to impart the values of our culture onto me. I will do my best to involve the Youth of our community so that they benefit from those same experiences, as I have». Not surprisingly, Sabrina Maria enjoys the Italian “music scene”. Among her favourites is Eros Ramazzotti, because “so many of his songs are modern yet melodic”.
She has experienced the “Italianità” in all of its manifestations. In fact, for the last five years, she has visited il Belpaese annually. «I visit with my family in Abruzzo, and I enjoy myself immensely; I love everything, from the scenery, to the history of which every city is so richly endowed. To date I have toured Rome and Naples but I intend to go to Florence, Venice, Milan…». It does seem she enjoys everything about Italy, style and cuisine included. «What can you say, going out for a gelato after supper is a wonderful routine - she says laughingly - the food is great but what I like most is the life style…». She is returning next summer.
In the meanwhile, she is working at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Woodbridge. «I have taken a year off from my studies; next September I hope to begin my Master’s in Biomedical Research. I plan to stay active in the Italian community. I believe in it fervently».
(Tuesday 22 November 2016)