Antonio Ricco is a busy young man attending college, participating in many activities and has hopes of going to law school. He does take time, however, to contemplate on the deeper meanings in life and society.
You’re a sophomore at the College of the Holy Cross. Needless to say, it hasn’t been a typical year in college. Describe what it’s been like for you.
This year for my fall semester I am all online for my four classes. This is very strange after becoming accustomed to both living and learning on campus. As a student, I personally prefer in-person education. The experience of truly being in a classroom and meeting professors in person is unmatched. Although this semester is unorthodox, I still find myself learning more and more every day from my professors.
Why did you pick Holy Cross?
While applying to colleges, my father had suggested that I apply to Holy Cross. Upon getting accepted I began to research the school and its academic programs. From what I saw I was impressed by the school’s Political Science department and the academic rigor. But what truly sold me on attending Holy Cross was when I visited the campus for the first time. The architecture of the school was stunning, and the students I met were unlike any other students I had met.
You’re majoring in political science and philosophy. Why are you interested in those areas?
From a young age I found myself drawn to history in school. Later in high school, during my free time I began to read works like “The Prince” by Machiavelli and was fully hooked. From then on, all I wanted to learn about was related to politics, whether it be American politics or political theory. My interest in philosophy came to me by accident. Whenever I was relaxing I was often thinking about the question of life, the world and society. In school, I began to read and do research on philosophers ranging from the ancient Greeks to post-modernists. After doing this reading I realized that there was an entire subject of academia dedicated to pondering life and society. And with this realization I fell in love with philosophy.
You hope law school is in your future. Why do you want to become a lawyer and be part of the law field?
As a person I have always considered myself to be litigious in nature. In normal life I have always been interested in debates and discussions. Practicing as a lawyer would allow me to do what I love, along with helping society.
At school, you are a member of the Mediation Team. What’s that all about?
The Mediation Team is one of the school’s trial teams. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties to a lawsuit meet with a neutral third-party in an effort to settle the case. The third-party is called a mediator. In this club, it is my job to act as one of three positions — mediator, lawyer or client.
For this club we travel to national and international competitions, where we are rated based on our ability to properly handle legal cases from all three positions. In our last competition, the Mediation Team traveled to Toronto, Canada, where one of my teammates and I placed fifth for Lawyer/Client teams. I prefer Mediation over Mock Trial because Mediation is much less hostile, and is more collaborative.
You also are in the Philosophy Club and the Outdoors Club. What kind of things do you do in those endeavors?
In the Philosophy Club, we meet once a week and discuss newly emerging philosophical questions. The Outdoors Club takes students on trips throughout the year for hiking and other outdoor activities. My favorite activity we did for this club was traveling to Walden Pond, where Henry David Thoreau reflected on life and simple living.
Has your family always been parishioners of Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament?
My family has been going to Mount Carmel for generations. I was baptized and confirmed at Mount Carmel.
What do you like most about our parish? What does it mean to you?
I love the people that attend church and also the church itself. Everyone at Mount Carmel is always friendly and seems to be community-oriented. I also believe that Mount Carmel is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. These two elements make me look forward to attending Mass every Sunday.
Please describe what part faith plays in your life.
I believe that my faith balances me out as a person. Whenever I find myself lost or concerned with something, I know that my faith will aid me in finding the right path. I also believe that my faith guides me in making wiser and kinder actions.
Many younger people don’t usually talk about religion with their friends. Do you, and what do you talk about?
Although many young people do not discuss religion, I find that my friends and I discuss our faith quite often. While at school, my closest friends and I attend Mass together every week. After most Masses, while eating breakfast, we almost always talk about the specific teaching from that Sunday’s Mass.
What do you hope the future holds for you?
In the soon future I look forward to graduating from Holy Cross. As you know I would like to attend law school. Following law school I would like to settle down and begin working in the field of corporate law. While working I would like to get married, have children and focus on raising my family.
In five words or fewer, describe Antonio Ricco.
A modern day renaissance man.
Family: Father Anthony Ricco, grandfather Anthony Ricco (deceased), grandmother Phyllis Ricco, uncle Ross Ricco, aunt Mary Ricco.
Education: Graduated from New Hartford High School in 2019; attending the College of Holy Cross.
Things you like to do: Listen to podcasts, reading, hiking, lifting weights, playing volleyball with friends, spending time with my family.
Favorite book: “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac.
Favorite TV show: “The Twilight Zone.”
Favorite movie: “Joker.”
Favorite musician or music genre: Miles Davis.
Favorite quote: “An unexamined life is not worth living.”— Socrates
(Photo above: Antonio Ricco and his grandmother Phyllis Ricco)