Alessia Maria Russo

Nickname: Sa, Ale Occupation: Drama/English high school teacher Age: 26 Generation: Second Dad from: Cervinara (Avellino), Campania Mom’s side from: San Fili and Rende (Cosenza), Calabria Raised in: Maple Speaks: English and some Italian

What would someone be surprised to know about you? I won the Sunburst Beauty Pageant when I was six months old.

How will Italian culture change in Canada over the next 10 years? There will be fewer people from my generation speaking the language.

What do you hope never changes? Keeping up with Italian family traditions like sugo on Sundays

Best thing about being Italian-Canadian? Having the best of both worlds! I like being able to combine both my Italian and Canadian traditions and values into my daily life.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Your mother is always right!”

What Italian stereotype do you completely live up to? I always talk with my hands.

What job would you be terrible at? I could never be a plumber because I hate getting my hands dirty.

Photography by Stephen Gaitan Makeup by Stefania Migliaio Location: Maranello Alfa Romeo, 200 Auto Park Circle, Vaughan