The Loss of a Parent, the Win of a Lifetime

Anthony Marascio struggled with the loss of his 42-year-old mother to cancer when he was age 10. Everyone rallied around his family, helping them through her six months of treatment and the aftermath. They made sure someone was always waiting at home for Anthony and his two brothers after school.

Still processing his grief, Anthony would come to Williamson an older student, made all the wiser by having his application rejected once. “It just made me stronger,” says Anthony, who would follow his brother, Dominic, a 2017 alumnus who graduated with honors, a college football career, and professional job offers. “I realized sometimes you’re going to experience failure, but you’ve got to get back up and try again.”

He was not without qualms: Would he fit in at Williamson? Could he live up to the reputation of his older brother?

Williamson gave Anthony his turn to shine all his own. He performed admirably in nearly every arena during his college years. This spring he is set to graduate, as the consummate Williamson Man, a fitting tribute to the memory of his mother.

In high school, Anthony watched his brother change and develop as a person at Williamson. “He comes out of high school like every other kid who doesn’t know what he wants to do or where he’s going in life. And then he came here. My brother became a man of character.”

Anthony had a backup plan after his first rejection from Williamson. He took classes in chemical engineering at a local community college with hopes of getting a power plant job. Excited and grateful when he finally did get admitted to Williamson, Anthony recalls thinking, “I finally did it!”

Older than most of the freshmen, Anthony thought, at first, the class would treat him as an outcast. All his fears were allayed when he received a warm welcome from the Power Plant Technology group as well as the whole student body. He credits football camp for introducing him to some juniors and seniors before the start of classes and shop. Especially helpful to Anthony were the seniors in his shop. They were freshmen when Anthony’s brother was a senior. Anthony felt connected to them through Dominic and appreciated their help and advice.

Once Anthony got acclimated, he took off. He made Dean’s List that first semester and has maintained a 4.0 G.P.A. throughout his entire college career. He has received awards for academic achievement and participated in extra-curricular activities including Student Ambassadors and football.

Recently, Anthony was inducted into the prestigious IV Club, Williamson’s highest honor bestowed upon graduating seniors that exemplify the ideals of a Williamson Man.

Power Plant Technology Instructor John O’Donnell says Anthony’s determination and eagerness to learn motivates him as a teacher. Mr. O’Donnell is always providing Anthony with more examples and extra material to satisfy his intellectual curiosity. “He’ll take 3-4 extra hours to solve a problem. He takes it very seriously.”

Anthony informs his teaching, improving his lesson plans and making them more fun. “I don’t want to make a mistake, he keeps me on my toes!” Mr. O’Donnell says. 

Anthony is right on track professionally. His first internship was with Exelon, where he got hands-on experience traveling out of state to service equipment. “I got to experience several different plants in action.”

Mr. O’Donnell says Anthony’s demeanor and knowledge will ensure his success in the power plant industry. “Anthony’s going to make it even with the competition.”

With a deep interest in instrumentation and controls, Anthony continued his professional development this past summer at International Combustion and Controls (a sister company of California Boiler) as a service engineer.

Anthony is currently interviewing with different companies. He hopes to get a job where he can remain close by his father, a neon sign maker and landscaper, and two brothers, Dominic and Nikolas.

Dominic works for Exelon, where Anthony’s grandfather worked before he retired in 1991. Nikolas just got accepted to a technical college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he will be studying Electrical Technology.

With all of the changes in the family, Anthony thinks about his mother, a hard-working office manager and cheering supporter of her sons’ sports leagues.

“It’s upsetting to not have her around,” he says, “but I know she’s looking down on us, and that she would be happy with what we were doing and how we’ve turned out. The men we are becoming today. I think she would love to see that.”

Your support makes it possible for students like Anthony to attend Williamson College of the Trades with a full scholarship that covers tuition, room, and board. You can help to prepare the next generation of Williamson Men to be respected leaders and productive members of society by Making a Gift Today.

2021-03-17T12:27:22-04:00 March 4th, 2021|