The 2017 National Youth Summit: A Reflection

The Grand Lodge of California informed me of the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend OSDIA’s 2017 National Youth Summit in Washington D.C. Once I heard about it, I was determined to attend. On October 26, I left for Washington, D.C., and I spent that weekend celebrating my Italian heritage with students like me and OSDIA national officers.

On the first day, I met the other students on the trip. Everyone was so kind and welcoming! We spent the day exploring Washington D.C. I was able to see several different monuments and buildings. We began by taking a tour of the Capitol building, and it was so much fun! Then, we saw the Supreme Court building and visited the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and Vietnam War Memorial. It was such an amazing experience and it was so touching because my family knew of people who died in the Vietnam War. I was able to find their names on the wall.

Youth SummitWe also visited the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America National Office, which was so amazing to see! Later that day, we all ate a delicious dinner together at Buca di Beppo, and afterward, we had a fun game night where I bonded with the other students.

The next day I learned so much about Italy and the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy. I was able to connect everything I learned to my Italian heritage. I am half-Italian—my dad is full-blooded. My family comes from the regions of Sicily and Molise. We are from the towns of Isola Delle Femmine and Vinchiaturo, respectively. I learned about the regions of Italy and facts about different cities as well as all the accomplishments of Italy and Italians. Growing up, I’ve been immersed in the Italian culture because my grandmother always taught me about where my ancestors came from and about Italy and it was exciting to learn about it again during these presentations.

We had a series of informational presentations. One was by Catherine Flumiani, the Minister Counselor for Consular and Social Affairs from the Embassy of Italy. It was very interesting! Throughout the day, we also competed in trivia games on Italy, played a fun Italian board game, and watched an Italian film with subtitles.

Overall, this trip was absolutely unforgettable. I met so many wonderful people on the trip that I know I will stay in contact with! The chaperones were so kind, and I’d like to thank all of them, and especially Kathy Drummond for orchestrating this amazing weekend. It was one of the best experiences in my life.

I am proud to be an Italian American, and I am proud to be a part of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America and serve as the queen for the Grand Lodge of California. I’m so excited to visit Washington D.C. and the National Office of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America again someday!

Mary Lucido is from California and is a junior in college at California State University, Sacramento. She belongs to the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (Cristoforo Colombo Lodge #1315 in Antioch) and has been a member since 2014. She recently became the Grand Lodge Queen for the State of California, reaching out to the younger generations and instilling them with pride in their Italian-American heritage. 

4 thoughts on “The 2017 National Youth Summit: A Reflection

  1. What a wonderful reflection of a great experience and shared by the national OSIA. Now help us spread the word to have other young people experience their heritage and culture. As a National Past President (2003-05) it makes me proud to know e are affording such experiences.

  2. Mary, what a beautiful tribute, not only to the Youth Summit, but to your family, yourself, all things Italian, and to all the members of OSDIA. I am so happy that you are in our Order and that you have been crowned queen. Although I am much older than you, I also cherish my Italian heritage, given to me by my grandparents, my Mom and Dad, my membership in Italian organizations, and my vast Italian reading. It is very inspiring to share such an appreciation with someone so young. Please continue to spread the word to your peers. Grazie.

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