Tag Archives: Italian American

Scholarship Information

UNICO Memphis Scholarship

Scholarship application due by May 21, 2022

The Memphis Chapter of UNICO accepts applications from graduating High School Seniors that are American Citizens of Italian descent.  The Scholarship Director is Alicia Bisio Mckenzie and her email address is alimck@aol.com .  We suggest you download our local scholarship form, fill it out and then save it on your computer, and then Email it to Alicia.  Once you do this most of the data can be copied on the UNICO National scholarship forms mentioned below that must be filled out online.  Most of the information is the same.  We encourage you to apply in both places.

Download form by clicking Memphis Scholarship Application 2020

UNICO National Scholarships

Italian-American students need to take advantage of the scholarships that are offered by UNICO National.   All applications must be completed online now.  Applications must be sponsored by a UNICO Chapter.  Alicia McKenzie is the Memphis coordinator, so if you are selecting the Memphis Chapter as your sponsor please use her name.  You must visit the UNICO National site to complete the application at https://www.unico.org/scholarships 


For more information on UNICO National Scholarships, please contact the UNICO National Scholarship Director, Joan Tidona at jntidona@unico.org.  

To find a local Chapter, please visit https://www.unico.org/find-a-chapter or contact UNICO National at 973.808.0035.  

The Story of UNICO National

The Story of UNICO National

UNICO was founded in Waterbury, Connecticut, October 10, 1922.  It’s founder, Dr. Anthony Vastola formed the organization with a group of businessmen and civic leaders in an effort to unite Italian Americans in an organization that would give strength and force against the discrimination of Italian Americans.  It was time for law-abiding American citizens of Italian descent to offset the humiliations pressed upon Italian Americans.  This was to be done by doing good deeds for others, thus the motto, “Service Above Self”.  In addition, the organization would promote scholarships and the cultivation of our Italian heritage.  The organization would differentiate itself in its measure of self-sacrifice, not for personal gain, but simply for the happiness found in America and it’s motto would be “Service Above Self”.  The acronym was later to stand for Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity and Opportunity.

The idea of UNICO became successful and won acceptance from the community.  Expansion to other cities became inevitable in Connecticut, then to New Jersey.  The first convention was held in New York City in 1930.  A similar idea had taken shape, unknown to the Eastern group, beginning in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1932 known as the National Civic League.  This group, comprising of 15 chapters in the Midwest, joined with UNICO during 1947 and became UNICO National at a convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

UNICO National grants scholarship awards, promotes Italian Study Chairs, observes Columbus Day with fitting programs and participates in community and civic activities, and raises monies for children’s causes such as St. Jude, and other varied charities with specific emphasis on mental health programs and Cooley’s Anemia research.  Overall, UNICO National has raised millions of dollars for these projects as well as millions of Dollars for disaster relief in the Midwest, California, Florida and in devastated areas in Italy.

See What’s Going On In UNICO National