The Pedrozzi Foundation recently awarded $443,500 in scholarships to 115 local scholars. Since 2008, the Pedrozzi Foundation has awarded $4.44 million to 1,226 Livermore students. Of the 2019 Pedrozzi Scholars, seventeen percent will be the first in their family to attend college. These scholars will be attending community college, undergraduate, graduate, and trade schools in the upcoming school year.
The annual Scholar Recognition Event at the Bankhead Theater brought together people from across the community to celebrate with the 2019 Pedrozzi Scholars. The evening also included recognition of the fourteen new Pedrozzi Young Scholars for their academic achievement. The Pedrozzi Young Scholar program promotes equity in opportunity for high achieving students from Marylin Avenue Elementary School by providing support throughout the students’ middle and high schools years.
The number of Pedrozzi Scholars continues to grow each year as generous members of the Livermore community fund scholarships as a form of giving back and to honor peers, family members, and friends. This year there were nineteen scholarships funded by community members.
The David F. Christeson GHS Class of 2005 Memorial Scholarship was awarded to artist Jodi Bryant of Granada High School who will be pursuing a degree in illustration as she continues her formal art training. Dave and Laurie Christeson established the scholarship in honor and memory of their son David who was an avid reader, writer and aspiring chef who embraced a creative approach to achieving dreams. This inaugural scholarship award coincides with the Christeson’s daughter’s, Alex’s, graduation from Granada.
Through a substantial donation, a retired Livermore resident again funded a Promise Scholarship, which will allow Jordan Goodwin to pursue her college dreams without a huge financial burden. The donor researched national scholarship foundations but realized that the Pedrozzi Foundation could most effectively facilitate her philanthropic goals. This generous community member was overjoyed to learn of Goodwin’s plans to attend UC Berkeley as a Political Science and African American Studies double major. While at Berkeley, Goodwin hopes to continue her extracurricular passions by joining an intramural soccer team and playing flute in the Cal marching band.
Mony Nop, former Livermore police officer, real estate agent, and community leader is passionate about supporting and empowering youth, so he chose to fund a community college scholarship through the foundation he established, Rising Young Leaders. Nop is grateful for the educational opportunities available to him once his family immigrated to the United States, therefore, he wanted to support a student who, like him, is the first-in-family to attend college.
Supporters Mim John, Alan and Mary Burnham, Howard and Elaine Storms, the Rotary Club of Livermore, Board Past President Kathy Coyle, and Board Treasurer John W. Houghton, Jr. continue to annually fund scholarships. As a mechanical engineer, Houghton is thrilled that Joshua Lyons, recipient of the John W. Houghton, Jr. STEM Scholarship, will be pursuing a mechanical engineering degree at Purdue University. In expressing his gratitude to Mr. Houghton, Lyons wrote, “Thank you again for your generosity and confidence in my present and future abilities. I hope that I will reflect positively on you as a donor and on the Pedrozzi Foundation through my values of achievement, integrity, and responsibility.”
Talented flutist David Davisson, who will be pursuing a degree in Flute Performance at Rice University, was awarded the Charles Amirkhanian Music Scholarship. The endowed scholarship fund was established by an anonymous Livermore couple in honor of Amirkhanian: composer, percussionist, sound poet, radio producer and co-founder of the Other Minds Music Festival.
Through the endowed scholarship fund they established in 2018, Bryan Balazs and Lori Souza funded five Pedrozzi Continuous Achievement Scholarships, which provide additional support to Pedrozzi Scholars at community colleges. This generous couple shares, “One of the important things we’ve learned from the work of the Pedrozzi Foundation is that community college students often struggle to complete their educational goals to earn a degree or complete their certificate or transfer program. We wanted to help students address this challenge, and we created the Pedrozzi Continuous Achievement Scholarship (PCAS) to further help Pedrozzi Scholars towards the completion of their community college goals. We wanted this endowment to provide additional resources where we believed it to be most needed.” Aaron Specht, a 2019 PCAS recipient and 2011 Granada High School graduate, dropped out of Las Positas College (LPC) when he attended directly out of high school. He has since returned to LPC with a renewed focus which comes with maturity and personal grit. He now flourishes in school and effectively utilizes the wide variety of student support and success services on campus. Specht says, “Having help with the financial burden of going to school full-time while working part-time to support myself, allows me to spend more time on my studies, setting me up for a successful future.”
Carol Perry also provided additional scholarship support to two 2016 Pedrozzi Scholars, Jared Brandley and Martin Vega-Martinez. Carol is impressed with how both young men have not let obstacles prevent them from reaching their goal of earning a bachelor’s degree.
To promote vocational training, the Foundation partners with ABC NorCal to award tool scholarships for apprentices in one of the five ABC NorCal construction trade training programs. Longtime donors Jay and Mary Davis funded a tool scholarship in honor and memory of Jack Garabaldi, a former Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory mechanical technician. Jay says, “Jack was a Southern Pacific engineer before joining the lab and was just magic in both designing and building mechanical systems.”