2024 Scholarship Winners

Presenting the 2024 winners of the AMHS Scholarships: Sebastian Said and Maxwell Tomashek

Letters from the AMHS Winners

Sebastian Alessandro Said


Dear Members of the Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society,

I am humbled and honored to have been selected as a recipient of the AMHS scholarship for the 2024-
2025 academic year. I would like to extend my profound gratitude to the Scholarship Committee and the
entire AMHS for this incredible award. This scholarship will help significantly as I begin my studies at
Virginia Tech this fall pursuing a degree in Business with a minor in Computer Science and Italian Studies.
The AMHS is an incredible organization. My grandfather is Ennio Di Tullio, and as some of you may know,
is one of the founding fathers of the AMHS. He served as the Society’s first Vice President and as
President from 2003-2007. Over the years he has supported the AMHS is varying capacities and remains
a steadfast advocate for the Society, as a result, I have always considered the AMHS a special
organization. As a young child, I recall attending many AMHS meetings and luncheons with my family
and witnessing the wonderful camaraderie and dedication from all its members to promote the heritage
of these two beautiful regions and the Italian culture in general. I have seen first-hand the level of
dedication and support for this wonderful Society. The Italian language, culture, and its traditions have
always been important to me, and I look forward to continuing and being part of that legacy.
Receiving this award is particularly special to me and I am deeply appreciative to each of you for your
support and generosity. Your belief in me inspires me to keep working hard.

Vi ringrazio profondamente per questa borsa di studio.

Cordiali saluti,

Sebastian Alessandro Said

Maxwell Tomashek

Dear Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society,

I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude for the generous scholarship you awarded me.
When I was accepted to Georgetown University, I was thrilled at the prospect of attending a
university that would equip me with the skills to thrive in a future career in law or government.

My parents, both public school teachers at the high school and elementary levels, have made
many sacrifices to allow my sisters and me to pursue our dreams. However, their sacrifices alone
were not enough to allow me to continue this academic journey at Georgetown. Thanks to
scholarships such as the Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society Scholarship, this is possible.

Receiving the Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society Scholarship is not just a financial support
for my education, but a recognition of the values and resilience that my grandparents, both
immigrants from Sant’Elia a Pianisi in Molise, instilled in me.

My nonni immigrated to the United States when they were about seventeen. They came from a
small rural village outside of Campobasso called Sant’Elia a Pianisi. Upon immigrating to
America, my nonno worked as a carpenter, port supervisor, and jack-of-all-trades, striving to
provide a better life for his children and grandchildren. When I told him that I had been awarded
this scholarship, he was thrilled.

During summers as a kid, my family would return to Sant’Elia to visit relatives. During these
trips, I gained an appreciation for Italian culture and the closeness shared among community
members. From this appreciation, I began studying Italian language and culture at Georgetown.
This fall, I will study abroad in Bologna, where I will take courses in Italian and deepen my
understanding of what makes Italy so special. This has been made possible thanks to the Abruzzo
and Molise Heritage Society Scholarship.

Once again, I would like to extend my appreciation for all that your society does to support
students like me. The financial assistance provided by your scholarship not only eases the burden
on my family but also inspires me to work harder and give back to the community. It enables me
to focus more on my studies and less on financial constraints, allowing me to fully immerse
myself in the educational and cultural opportunities available at Georgetown and beyond. Thank
you for making my dreams attainable, for helping me honor my heritage, and for playing a
crucial role in my academic and personal growth.

With utmost appreciation,
Maxwell Tomashek

Sebastian Alessandro Said graduated with High Honors from St. Paul VI Catholic High School (PVI) on
May 24, 2024. During his four years at PVI, he was involved in several school organizations within his
school community. Sebastian served as School President his senior year and is grateful to the entire
student body for entrusting him with this honor. In this role, he was the voice and advocate for the
entire student body. He created and organized events that promoted school spirit and inclusivity and
planned service activities within the greater community to help those less fortunate and underserved.
Sebastian was a proud member of the Student Government Association (SGA) all four years of high
school. He was elected Class President by his peers consecutively each year, and as a result, was a
member of the Executive Board of the SGA where he served as a liaison between the students and
administration to help facilitate positive and productive relationships.

Sebastian was inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) based on his academic achievements,
leadership skills, service, and character. He also served as an NHS Tutor. Outreach and engaging with as
many fellow schoolmates have always been important to Sebastian. He served as a Peer Mentor in PVI’s
Options Program where he was teamed up with students with intellectual and/or developmental
disabilities to make them feel included within the school community while promoting the inherent
dignity deserved by all.

He was nominated and selected by PVI’s school administrators to serve as a Big Brother in the Big
Brother and Big Sister Program, where he served as a leader and point of reference for his fellow
classmates that they could come to for support and guidance. He also assisted new students become
acclimated to PVI.

He was selected to be a Campus Ministry Retreat Team Leader and asked to give motivational speeches
and lead discussion groups during retreats to encourage participation and to take away positive,
practical, and concrete resolutions for self-improvement.

Sebastian was the 2nd Place Award Recipient in the 2023 Voice of America Essay Contest for is essay on
“Why the Veteran in Important”.

Sebastian is an avid soccer fan and has enjoyed playing the sport for several years. He played and
captained for the Loudoun Soccer Travel team from 2017-2023 where he competed at high levels of
competition. He also played for PVI’s soccer program throughout all four years of high school where he
was also consistently recognized and awarded the Scholar Athlete Award during his tenure. He follows
Serie A calcio closely and is a proud “Juventino”. Sebastian has shared his passion for soccer by
volunteering as a soccer coach for recreational teams coaching 8-10 year old boys. He also continues to
work as a Lead Coach and camp counselor at Michael and Sons Sportsplex.
He enjoys travelling to Italy frequently to visit family and friends and immersing himself in the culture
and the country’s rich traditions.

Sebastian will be attending Virginia Tech and pursuing a major in Business with a minor in Computer
Science and Italian Studies, with the hope to study abroad in Italy for a semester.


Max Tomashek is a rising Junior majoring in International Politics and minoring in Italian
at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. He lives in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and has family in Sant’Elia a Pianisi in Molise, Italy. After attending
Georgetown University, he hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in public