Back in 1928, my grandparents came to Chicago from Italy. My dad was just a toddler and not long after they settled on the city’s south side, they added a daughter to their small family. They arrived just in time for the Depression.
My nonno (grandfather) Vincent was a skilled machinist with Fiat in Turin before immigrating, enabling him to find work. Eventually, his technical skills led him to a job with the U.S. Department of the Navy during World War II. As he became acclimated to industry in America, he knew he would have to continue his education and he eventually completed a degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He was well into his 50's.
Education is a gift we give to ourselves. Often, parents pay the bill, but it’s something that, once completed, cannot be returned. Should you choose to “regift,” by sharing your knowledge with someone else, your education only becomes richer, deeper and more valuable.
January is resolution time and there are so many efforts being made for self-improvement. Ever notice how busy the fitness centers are right after the holidays? Check back around Valentine’s Day and it will be a lot easier to get a turn on the treadmill. Thinking about advancing your education? Now there's a goal that will give your brain a great workout.
Deciding to go to college, returning to complete a degree, applying to graduate school or beginning in a completely new direction requires that initial resolve that you want to do something for YOU. It will take time, finances, family support and – above all – commitment to see it through to graduation day.
It doesn’t matter if you are 19 or 69, there is an educational opportunity for anyone with the desire for self-improvement. College can expand your horizons, keep your mind sharp and open the doors to new subjects and worthwhile skills. Nonno Cenzo never stopped reading, exploring, experiencing and learning. Even into his final years, he always had a book in his hand, classical music on his stereo, a lesson to teach or wonderful conversation to share.
There is so much of the world to learn about and appreciate. Be good to yourself and let the journey begin.