Columbus Citizens Foundation helps provide education scholarships

October 6, 2011 2:03:30 PM PDT
Columbus Citizens Foundation is helping students attend private schools by providing scholarships.

You can count George Raiola among the many students, who enjoy attending Xaverian High School.

"The best thing about being a student at Xaverian is the teachers. They're really helpful," he said.

Tuition at Xaverian is $11,000 a year, but George's expenses are paid through a special scholarship program.

"It's not just a check that comes from some outside source, but it's people," said Bob Alesi, Xaverian High School President.

The people who pay for George's education are part of the Columbus Citizens Foundation. Foundation president Frank Fusaro points out the scholarship fund is a longtime project.

"Today it has grown to the point where we have over 500 students at the elementary, high school and university level, to the tune of almost, $2M a year," he said.

The foundation is best known for sponsoring the Columbus Day Parade, but its members and officers feel the scholarships are just as important.

George's sister, Samantha, now in college, attended an excellent catholic high school, also on scholarship. Their mother says the foundation provides much more than scholarship money.

"They're so dedicated, the people at the foundation, and they teach my kids to be dedicated to their education, to their faith and family and to their heritage," said Paula Raiola.

Be sure to watch the Columbus Day Parade live Monday starting at 12:00 p.m. on Channel 7 and 7online. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION