Liaison College President, Rudy Florio, knows what means to strive for success and overcome barriers. Growing up in the ’60’s in the East End of Hamilton, there was not much money for post-secondary education and certainly not for the luxury to play football; Rudy had to fight the economic realities of his roots. With the help of dedicated high school football coaches, George Knill and Dennis Griffin, Rudy was able to achieve a Football Scholarship to Youngstown State University in Ohio. Rudy played football and studied for 4 years to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and then continued on to play professional football after being drafted by the Montreal Alouettes in 1973. Rudy finished a 7 year pro-football career winning the respect of his teammates and coaches. Since then he has created a successful business profile at Liaison College.
Now he is giving back. In addition to sharing his love and knowledge of football, Rudy is also committed to the Hamilton area youth at risk.
The Liaison College Youth Success Fund was created in partnership with the Hamilton Area John Howard Society. The fund was established to address the needs of youth in the area who face barriers prohibiting them to reach their full potential and succeed in their dreams. Sometimes all you need is a hand up to get you started in the right direction. Rudy Florio believes in this philosophy and wants to help.
The Liaison College Youth Success Fund is directed towards services that will help youth achieve their goals and realize their dreams by assisting in the following areas:
The fund is administered entirely by the John Howard Society in Hamilton where Rudy Florio is an active Board Member and is made possible solely by private funding and donations. We are grateful to everyone who participates in any way (cash donations, prizes for annual fundraiser etc.).
Since the fund was established in 2011, 3 scholarships have been awarded. The students will be attending Mohawk College and Ryerson University.
One of the recipients, Nawras, has an especially touching story. Abandoned by her mother at a very young age in Morocco, she came to Canada with her father and settled in Hamilton, ON. She has been a high achiever in school and in the community. However, her father (who battled mental health issues) sadly committed suicide a while ago leaving her entirely alone. She is completing high school this year but had no plans to attend her prom or graduation. She has been accepted at Ryerson for Journalism which is her dream and passion. The adversities are great, but she has persevered and is living with friends to complete her studies. She will be living at a camp for the summer where she has been hired as a counsellor. She doesn’t want to go back to the apartment where her dad died.
The John Howard Society recommended her for a Liaison College Youth Success Fund scholarship and she was awarded $1000 towards her first year tuition. This amount will continue annually while she is in school. At the awards ceremony many shed tears as they listened to the story of Nawras. However, one of the JHS board members, Rita Amalfi, took the matter in her hands and wanted Nawras to have a prom and grad experience; Rita arranged for a dress fitting, hair and makeup …. A Cinderella story.