Tell us about yourself (name, education, work experience, hobbies, etc.)
My name is Joseph Celidonio, and I’m a medical student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. I was raised in Bloomfield and attended Bloomfield public schools from K-12, which was an experience I will always be grateful for. Currently my hobbies include guitar, hiking, and leisure reading. I consider myself a family-oriented person, and I am excited to be embraced by the family that is the Bloomfield UNICO chapter.
Tell us about your Italian Ancestry.
Growing up, I was always told that I am 100% Italian and that my roots come from Sicily and Naples. Upon further research I discovered that this was true, and that I also have ancestors from Avalino, Italy.
How did you hear about / get involved with UNICO, how long have you been a member?
I decided to apply for the UNICO internship because I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. My Italian teacher and family encouraged me a lot to take I first heard about UNICO when I was in high school after my older brother received a UNICO scholarship. Years after graduating high school, I was searching for ways to get involved in the community. It was then that 2 friends of mine, Joe Cupoli and Chris Palmieri, insisted that UNICO should be my philanthropic endeavor. Thanks to UNICO, I’ve found an enjoyable way to contribute to the same community that has taught me everything. This June, I will have been a member for 1 year.
How do you participate in promoting Service Above Self?
Because I believe in UNICO’s cause, it comes second nature to promote our mission. Anyone who appreciates their community can understand why UNICO members enjoy their commitment to service. For instance, I am grateful for my alma mater, which is why I want to give back to the same community in which I received my education. When discussing UNICO with friends or colleagues, I typically encourage them to consider what they are grateful for within their community, and how they could give others that same opportunity or experience.
What do you like most about our chapter?
Being an intern at UNICO has put my goals into reach because I attend I like how our chapter feels like a family. Everyone I meet is incredibly welcoming and light-hearted. In fact, the meetings are reminiscent of my own family parties – good food, good wine, and good people.
Tell us about your favorite memory since you’ve been a member of UNICO.
The night of my induction is one of my favorite memories. It was exciting to meet new people, and it was particularly nice to see some familiar Bloomfield faces that I hadn’t seen in years.