Making family proud overseas as first generation born in the USA

By Michelle Guerin
November 15, 2018

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Conigliaro‘s family is from Sicily, ItalyGraphic by Michelle Guerin

Being a first generation family member to be born in America, most would take every opportunity they can to make their family proud of them, academically and athletically.  

Dav Conigliaro’s headshot. Photo by Cabrini Athletics

Dav Conigliaro‘s family is from Sicily, Italy  His grandfather saw opportunity in America in the 1980’s for business to grow.  Conigliaro’s parents began their lives in Sicily, but also wanted to go to America.  

Picking Cabrini University was one of the best decisions for freshman, Conigliaro in his college career so far.  Conigliaro graduated from Burlington Township School District in New Jersey. He is continuing his soccer career at Cabrini while studying international business with a minor in Italian.

“My teammates make me feel at home and without them, I don’t know what I would do,” Conigliaro said.  “They are very important to me.  Coach Dallas was also a big part of why I came here.  A lot of the teammates were so supportive of me, even before I committed.”  

When asked about one word to describe Conigliaro, senior midfielder Vince Biche did not hesitate to showcase Conigliaro’s dedication.

“Every practice Dav goes 100 percent and never slacks,” Biche said.  “He has a lot of dedication to anything he puts his mind to and in soccer, he can take that drive of dedication far in his career.”  

Described by many athletes, Cabrini’s Athletic Department is different from any other program at other colleges.  

Dav Conigliaro and the team ready for game day. Photo by Michelle Guerin

“It doesn’t matter if we are on the field or off the field, we are all close,” Conigliaro said.  “I have a lot of other friends that play for different schools and their teams are divided.  The seniors all hang out and do their own thing and the underclassmen do their own thing.  That is not the case here.  We all spend time together and we go out together.  No one is excluded and everyone gets along.  That is very important and to transition that onto the field, I think that is significant and relevant.”

Brotherhood is a word many of the athletes say about the men’s soccer team.  Growing up with an older sister, Conigliaro takes the friendships with his teammates to heart.

“A trait that I got out of being in this program for three years is being able to work for the person next to you,” junior midfielder Andre Justin said.  “Brotherhood is a very important part of the program and I hope it carries on after my career is done here for Dav.”

Uniforms ready for the game. Photo by Michelle Guerin

In Italy, soccer, also known as football, is a very popular sport. Being able to play in America, Conigliaro was excited to start the year off in a new conference with a new team.  

Cabrini switched from Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) to Atlantic East Conference (AEC) in September of 2018. Conigliaro was excited about the competition when he committed.  

Conigliaro is able to text and FaceTime cousins back in Italy, and loves keeping his family up to date on how his athletic career is going.  Every summer since he can remember, Conigliaro visits Italy and loves spending time on the beaches, playing beach soccer and hanging out in his homeland with his family.  

When choosing his major at Cabrini, it was obvious for him right away.  

“My father had a big influence on me picking my major because he has his own business and is a wine exporter for a company in Sicily,” Conigliaro said. “I also speak Italian, I enjoy learning about business and I love to travel so it seemed like a great fit for me.”

Conigliaro’s parents knew from the start their son would have determination through his blood.

“Davide’s work ethic is exemplified by his attitude toward succeeding and performing to the best of his ability,” Aurelio and Maria Conigliaro, Conigliaro’s father and mother said via email.  “Since he was a young boy, he was always a determined individual, always cared for others and willing to help anyone in need.  We are so incredibly proud of the man that he is becoming.  I hope these years at Cabrini will help him get ready for the bright future ahead of him.”

After graduation, Conigliaro hopes to travel back to Sicily and start his own business.

Conigliaro celebrating with his teammates after a big win! Photo by Michelle Guerin

“Dav has a lot of potential to be a big part of this program and Cabrini,” Justin said.  “It’s going to come with patience and maturity.  It can all be done in one moment, you have to cherish every moment and play like it’s your last.”

Taking every moment one day at a time, Conigliaro always leaves off with one thought.

“I always say to myself is positivity,” Conigliaro said.  “No matter how hard your day is going, each day is a new day.  Don’t let what happened yesterday affect the new day.”

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Michelle Guerin

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