Antonietta Lo Pardo Costa Scholarship [1926-2021]
Antonietta Lo Pardo was born in Maierato, Calabria, Italy in 1926. A resident of a very small town, she was never given the opportunity to pursue formal education. Antonietta survived German occupation in World War II in which she cultivated her survival instincts and fighting spirit. She immigrated to the United States in 1952 where she became a seamstress to support her family.
Antonietta mastered any skill that she could learn in a foreign land without the knowledge of the local language. She often said she was “a woman with no language”. Her tenacity allowed her not only to survive, but to adapt and thrive. As a seamstress she could construct items ranging from men’s suits to women’s dresses. Later in life when her family purchased a Pizza shop, she became the backbone of the organization in all tasks ranging from the cooking to the late night pizza delivery.
Throughout her life, she was a natural born problem solver and would try to improve any situation where possible. She always asked those around her to do things “piu meglio” or as she translated, “more better”. The relentless pursuit of improvement and trying new solutions for daily challenges made her most resourceful even without many resources.
You can read more about Antonietta’s life and listen to her story here: http://www.collectivelegacyproject.com/antonietta-lopardo-costa#antonietta-lopardo-costa-page
This scholarship is endowed by Antonietta’s granddaughter, Ester Barbuto Bergen. Ester served three terms on the SWE Board of Trustees from FY13-FY22 and has held multiple leadership roles in the society. A life member of SWE, Ester believes the opportunities for engineers are endless. She knows that her Nonna would have made a great engineer if she had the resources to pursue formal education. Thanks to the support of Microsoft’s giving program and corporate matching, Ester was able to endow the scholarship through a multi-year pledge. She hopes that someone similar to her Nonna will have a better chance at pursuing their passion and making the world a little “more better”.