WEST HARTFORD -- As Meagan Fredette, 17, handles her grandfathers passport, a piece of family history, he reflects on his journey from Ireland to American.
"He came over in 1955 and then it says U.S. Department of Justice admitted from the American embassy and then from Dublin Ireland," she said. "At 21 he came by boat and came to Hoboken New Jersey. It's crazy because you learn about immigrants coming over to this country in like history and history classes and it's crazy to think that my grandpa actually did that."
As long as she can remember, Fredette has been fascinated by her Irish roots.
"He was actually supposed to go to Australia and something happened. I think they backed out and so he got switched to America and his host family was my grandma's family and they fell in love and have been married ever since," she explains.
That love and passion has been passed on. The connection she has for her heritage has helped her win a $1,5000 scholarship from the Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee.
Fredette will celebrate with her grandfather and family during the Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day parade and festivities.
"They were just genuinely so happy and proud just to know that we are continuing that on, they were just really excited," she said.
You can watch both the Hartford and New Haven St. Patrick's Day parades live on-air and online with coverage from FOX 61. Learn more here.