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Alda Madelaine

by Jonathan from New York

Alda and me<br>(Family Photo)
Alda and me
(Family Photo)

Some heroes are heroes for a day, while other heroes are every day heroes. My hero, Alda Madelaine deBernardi, is an every day hero. By that I mean she is not your every day hero, but an extraordinary hero every day with a heart of gold. Alda is my hero, my cousin, and my godmother. Today she is a retired teacher, and to the many children she inspired, she is known as Miss M. Born in Greenwich Village, New York City, she is the most giving, kind, loving, charitable, inspirational, and wisest person I know. She is my hero because she gives me great joy and happiness every day, and has inspired me to be the best I can be. Alda has a great love for education, animals, and the environment, and she is very active in rescue and charity.

Alda has inspired me with many wonderful values and memories of her life and childhood. She attended Hunter College's Manhattan Campus where she achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with a major in English literature. After graduation, she became a pre-k teacher, and a few years later opened up a private pre-k school with her sister Ermilda. Eventually, Alda became a school administrator in New York City. She says that it was the most rewarding time of her life and there was always drama. Alda believes that children can truly change the world and that by teaching children the true values of life and inspiring them to reach their full potential, the world constantly becomes a better place. I hope that I grow up to be an inspiration to others and to make a difference in the world for the better.


Alda followed in the footsteps of her mother and older sister, Ermilda, who were also teachers. They lived through many great tragedies like World War II and the Great Depression. When I asked her what it is was like, she said, "World War II was frightening and we never knew if we were going to be attacked, and the Great Depression was very hard and had many challenges, but my family fortunately overcame them." During this time in her childhood, she was still very happy. "Her parents and her sister," she says, "were the best anyone could ever have." Her dad was from Genoa, Italy, and her mom was from Piedmont, Italy. Growing up, she loved to read books and to go to the opera. Her favorite author was Shakespeare and her favorite play was The Merchant of Venice.

Alda has inspired me with many great, wonderful, life-changing and inspiring values. Alda has really made a difference in my life, showing me the right and wrong, wonderful stories, and amazing facts I never knew. She was there whenever I needed her. Her hero was Abraham Lincoln because he changed the world and made a difference for the better. Showing compassion for all people, animals, and plants is one of the greatest lessons she has taught me. She has saved acres of forest, rescued many wild cats, and even hand fed abandoned baby raccoons. You can't kill a bug in Alda's house either; she has a special glass to transport them outside instead!

Alda is truly wonderful, inspiring, and giving. She taught me never to settle for being less than the best I can be, to always be compassionate, hardworking, and to follow my heart. A hero changes the lives of others for the better. Alda has been my hero every day of my life, and an everyday hero for so many children for many years. She is the greatest person I know, my godmother, my cousin, my hero, a teacher.

Page created on 8/11/2010 1:55:18 PM

Last edited 8/11/2010 1:55:18 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.