The Pedrozzi Foundation recently awarded $459,000 in scholarships to 127 local students, 20% of whom are in the first generation of family members to attend college. These scholars will be attending community college, undergraduate, graduate, and vocational schools.
The newest Pedrozzi Scholars, along with family and friends, were excited to return to the Bankhead Theater in downtown Livermore for the Foundation’s annual recognition event. Recipients shared their educational plans, soaked in congratulatory cheers, posed for photos, and left with recognition items, including yard signs to display their pride in becoming Pedrozzi Scholars.
Also celebrated were the 11 newest Pedrozzi Young Scholars, selected for being model students with strong academic accomplishments. The Pedrozzi Young Scholar Program promotes equity in opportunity for high achieving students from Marylin Avenue Elementary School by providing support throughout their middle and high school years. With the addition of this cohort, Pedrozzi Young Scholars will be represented throughout the Livermore School District in grades six through twelve.
This year’s recipients are proud to be joining the growing rank of Pedrozzi Scholars. Since 2008, the Pedrozzi Foundation has awarded $5.7 million to nearly 1,600 Livermore students. Evelyn Arroyo Magaña attended Granada High School and the Middle College Program at Las Positas College. She is heading to UC Berkeley and shared, “This scholarship will help pay for school materials and rent. It helps me budget for things that would take many weeks of work to afford while balancing my studies. I greatly appreciate this funding and the relief I feel for this help!”
While most funding for Pedrozzi Scholarships comes from an endowment established by Livermore businessman Mario Pedrozzi, an increasing number of residents also fund scholarships, often to honor peers, family members, and friends. This year, 23 scholarships are funded by donors, including three new memorial scholarships established in honor of Livermore residents who made a positive impact.
Someone anonymously funded a scholarship in memory of Hunter Diemert, a well-loved Livermore High School sophomore who tragically died in an accident last August, just shy of his sixteenth birthday. The donors value Hunter’s friendliness, work ethic, and desire to pursue a career working with his hands. This year’s recipient is Brett Whitelaw, a Del Valle High School graduate, who plans to pursue a career as an auto mechanic, starting his formal training at Las Positas College.
The Clay Felicitas Memorial Scholarship was also funded anonymously in honor of Mr. Felicitas’ service to the Livermore community, including working in the school district and as a police department chaplain. Felicitas graduated from Granada High School, as will recipient Lukas Sifter, a three-sport athlete who served as Associated Student Body Rally Commissioner. Sifter plans to become a paramedic and firefighter and began his training with the Livermore Pleasanton Fire Explorers and Contra Costa County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team. He will continue his training at Las Positas College.
Dr. John Shirley, a former Livermore mayor and veterinarian, passed away in December 2021. In honor of Shirley’s local impact and distinguished military service during WWII, his family established a scholarship to be awarded to a student who exemplifies service-above-self. This year’s recipient, Emily Wheeler, aspires to be a pediatrician. At Livermore High School, Wheeler held multiple ASB leadership roles and focused on volunteer activities, especially during the coronavirus pandemic related shutdowns.
The previously established Kim Cupps Memorial STEM Scholarship was endowed in honor of Cupps’ long career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The 2022 recipients are Clarissa Cheung, who will be studying computer science at the University of Florida, and Katherine Meezan, who will be studying mechanical engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Livermore Vice Mayor Gina Bonanno, Cupps’ wife, shares, “As a former Pedrozzi board member I heard first-hand that Pedrozzi scholarships do more than lessen the financial burden of higher education; they create a supportive community – the type of community that Kim valued and fostered.”
View list of 2022 Pedrozzi Scholars
View list of 2022 Pedrozzi Young Scholars
This scholarship will help pay for school materials and rent. It helps me budget for things that would take many weeks of work to afford while balancing my studies. I greatly appreciate this funding and the relief I feel for this help! – 2022 Pedrozzi Scholar Evelyn Arroyo Magaña