GOOD NEWS MONDAY: ITALY’S OLDEST GRADUATE AT 96

Happy Monday everyone. The start of a new week can only mean one thing here at Dalton Wise – a good news story! This week we’re sharing a lovely and uplifting story about Giuseppe Paterno, former railway worker and now Italy’s oldest graduate. He has already lived through childhood poverty, World War II and now the coronavirus pandemic.

96-year-old Giuseppe enrolled at the University of Palermo in 2017 to study History and Philosophy. He has always loved books, however he had not previously had the opportunity to study. He grew up in Sicily before the Great Depression and had only basic schooling. He then went on to join the navy and served during WWII before working in the railways. Italy was focused on rebuilding after the war and work and family were the top priorities. He still wanted to learn however, and graduated from high school at 31 years old.

Flash forward to 2020, he has now received his diploma and a traditional laurel wreath that is awarded to Italian students when they graduate. He graduated first in his class with top honours and was congratulated by the university chancellor Fabrizio Macari. He has no plans to stop learning, and said he will continue to devote himself to writing and aims to revisit all the texts he didn’t have a chance to explore further.

Learning actually has strong links to mental health. Studies show that those who continue with their education after their childhoods report better general wellbeing and greater stress-coping abilities. They also tend to have better self-esteem, stronger purpose and feelings of hope. Learning is an integral part of life, so why not try to learn something new every day?

Check out last week’s Good News Monday about work life balance HERE

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