Savanna Nelson, a 2019 Pedrozzi Scholar, worked as an administrative intern here at the Pedrozzi Foundation this summer. Savanna is a rising fourth year student at UC Santa Barbara. She is an organizational communication major, with a minor in Spanish. She shared an update with us:

“I am going into my senior year at UCSB, and I can’t believe it’s gone by so fast. It feels like yesterday that I attended the Pedrozzi Award Ceremony back in 2019. Having gone through an entire pandemic throughout the course of my college career has been a rollercoaster, but I am thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve had regardless. During online learning, I was able to work virtually as a research assistant for one of my communication professors, helping to develop a website tied to uncertainty scholarship. I was also a peer mentor for the department. I met with students who struggled with challenging prerequisite classes within the major, hosted study sessions, and advised about academic and non-academic issues alike. 

I was delighted to be back on campus my junior year, and I packed my schedule. I was actively involved with Phi Alpha Delta, my pre-law fraternity. I volunteered at the aquarium on the wharf in downtown Santa Barbara, and worked as the supervisor of a coffee shop in the University Center. But my favorite part of the semester was that I lived one block away from the beach, in a house with 14 other amazing girls. 

Spring semester, I studied abroad in Madrid! It was the best experience of my life by far. I traveled almost every weekend, met wonderful people from all over the globe, became fluent in Spanish, and so much more. I am extremely happy that I decided to go abroad, and I encourage other students to do so as well! Upon my return, I was proud to receive the Phi Beta Kappa Award, an academic accolade awarded annually to the top 1% of undergraduates.

I am very excited for my senior year. I plan to graduate a quarter early, then move to Southern California for a career in corporate communication. I am so grateful to the Pedrozzi Foundation for believing in me, and for the financial support and security it provides.”

On her experience being part of the Pedrozzi team, Savanna said:

“I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work in the Pedrozzi office this summer. I’ve never met a more selfless, intelligent and generous group of people than everyone involved with this organization. Everyone here inspires me to give back to the community in a direct way that has a visible impact. As the Foundation grows, I can see more and more of the ways in which it impacts the youth of Livermore. 

One of my favorite parts about the Foundation’s work is that they encourage kids to start thinking about their futures well in advance, so that they are prepared and don’t feel overwhelmed when they graduate. For example, the Pedrozzi Young Scholars program starts informing students about options and possibilities starting in fifth grade. Then there’s PSAT testing for sophomores, plus college and career planning resources available throughout high school. I think that the more young people are aware of their options, the more confident and self-assured they will be. What’s more, the Foundation does not tell kids that attending a 4-year college is the only option. They provide dedicated community college scholarships, plus tool and vocational scholarships for the trades. This is important because going to university is not everyone’s path, and I think that can sometimes get overlooked in high school. 

Every day when I’m at work I realize how many people are integral to Mario Pedrozzi’s mission- it is truly the work of the entire community. I am thankful to all of the donors who worked so hard to get where they are, just so they could give back. Then there’s all of the board members, who spend their valuable time managing the Foundation’s objectives and making sure kids are benefiting from every dollar. I’m so inspired by their attitudes towards giving, and I hope to emulate both their career successes and their outlooks on life.”

Savanna says she has learned invaluable lessons from working in the Pedrozzi office, which she will be able to take with her on every future career endeavor. Her biggest takeaway was that she now knows she wants to work for a company that truly cares about its employees and the members of its community, as the Pedrozzi Foundation does.