My grandfather Mauro came to this country from Italy at the age of 27, putting his future career as a medical doctor aside, in pursuit of the American dream. Having studied medicine, but not speaking a word of English, he took a job at a financial firm in the city sifting mail in the mail room. With hard work and determination, he worked his way out of the mail room; and he eventually worked his way up to become one of the firm’s senior Vice Presidents.
My other grandfather, Mario Caldarera, born to Sicilian immigrants, left his home in Brooklyn at the age of 17 to join the United States Navy and served our country in World War II.
My father, a 9/11 first responder and the first person in his family to go to college, became an NYPD officer. He worked his way up to become an NYPD Police Lieutenant.
As the first Caldarera to attend law school, I worked my way through school and took my first job in public service to be an Assistant District Attorney, where I had the honor of representing the people of the state of New York.
In addition to sharing the belief in the tradition of marriage and a great love for each other, my parents Joe and Denise, also shared this belief, which they instilled in their children, my sister Christina and myself:
That in the United States of America, if you’re willing to work hard enough for it, anything is possible.