The article in last week’s Journal about the remarkable life-story of Antonio ‘Tony’ D’Ambrosio resonated deeply with many of our readers. Tony’s anecdotes of his years as a youth growing up in his native Italy, most notably his recollection of warming his feet in fresh cow manure on the family farm when it was cold outside because he didn’t have shoes to wear, brought into vivid perspective the poverty from which Tony escaped when he came to America with his family to find a better life.
The story of the D’Ambrosio family’s success — Tony himself has owned a well-known and successful landscaping business in Revere for many years; his son Gerry is a successful attorney; and now his grandson, Anthony, a senior at the prestigious Phillips Andover Academy, is headed to Yale — has been duplicated by the countless millions of immigrants to this country since our founding. It is the narrative of the American Dream and it has made America known as the single-most land of opportunity on the face of the Earth.
The unifying message of the D’Ambrosio family’s story is the importance of education. Antonio himself got no further than the fourth grade in Italy and he admits he regrets to this day that he never went further. However, he knew that hard work and education were the key to a better life and ensured that his children, and grandchildren, were instilled with those values from a young age.
The American Dream still is alive and well, as exemplified by the success of the D’Ambrosio family. It is a story that is being played out every day in the Revere public schools, where so many of our most successful students are children of immigrants, if not immigrants themselves. The value of education is more important than ever in our high-tech world and we hope the story of Antonio D’Ambrosio serves as an inspiration to those who hope to emulate his family’s success.