Rosa Dell'Oso Memorial Scholarship Fund
Assunta (Sue) Michaud enjoys sharing stories about her petite, but fiery mother, Rosa Dell'Oso. “My father and I learned about the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) after speaking with the staff at the Edward F. Adzima Funeral Home following my mother’s passing. We shared a dream of creating a scholarship in her memory and realized how simple the process is. Beforehand, I had no idea about VCF or how to start a fund. The more I read through the materials, the more I realized that this dream would become a reality, and was a wonderful way to honor my mother.”
Sue reached out to the VCF staff to get the process started. “Everyone there was fabulous,” she said. “They did all the work and made everything easy for us, even spending the time to listen to my father’s stories about my mother when we went to the office. The hardest part of the process was finding the right picture of my mother to put into the paperwork.”
The scholarship was established in time for Sue to include a reference in her mother’s obituary, announcing that the fund would support two graduating high school students who had attended Oxford Middle School.
Although Rosa received a limited amount of schooling herself, she was a hard worker who valued education. Her role as custodian at Great Oak Middle School in Oxford was her favorite of all the jobs she ever held. “She loved the students, parents, and teachers as much as they loved her. That’s where her heart was,” Sue said. “My Aunt, Amelia DiVincenzo, was emotional when she told me that my mother would have been so happy that we have established this fund to keep her legacy alive.”
The scholarship will be awarded to one male and one female student, and the family would like the recipients to possess characteristics that defined Rosa, including both her kindness and grit. “My mother always talked about the students who were kind to her, so we want to use this fund to help someone who shows that same kindness to others. She was only 4’ 10 but she was a spitfire,” Sue added. “All you had to do was follow the Italian music to find where she was in the school. Her cleaning abilities were unparalleled because she took such pride in her work.”
Sue remembers her mother as someone who always gave her all and never gave in. “Part of me wishes we set up the fund during her lifetime but this scholarship is a beautiful way to honor her both now and in perpetuity,” she said.