Who Was Carmela?


Carmela Antolino grew up poor and hungry in rural Italy in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. She had no possessions, was uneducated, spoke poor Italian and could not read or write Italian let alone English. Despite this handicap, in 1930 she made her way to America to build a better life for her family.

Even though she was unable to speak, read or write English, Carmela cooked meals for railroad workers in order to feed her family and make money. She knew that her lack of education was a severe handicap. It motivated her to earn enough money to educate her children to become teachers. She revered teachers. This was because not only could they read and write, they knew how to teach others to do so! All three of her children obtained higher level education and became teachers. Her philosophy of lifting others up through hard work and education is the inspiration for the founding principles of The Carmela Foundation.