The Mario Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation is a private foundation that encourages and supports Livermore students in their pursuit of higher education and advanced training through the awarding of scholarships and by providing other programs and resources.
The Foundation does business as The Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation or Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation.
Upon his death in 2002, Mario Pedrozzi, a Livermore businessman, gifted nearly all his assets (approximately $8 million) to the Livermore community to establish the Mario Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation. In his will, Mario identified two specific groups of eligible students as recipients of his generosity – graduates of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District and seminarians at St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, CA, who were residents of Alameda County upon their high school graduation.
The Foundation was incorporated in the State of California April 19, 2004 and received its 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status August 14, 2006. As a private foundation, the organization is required to distribute 5% of its assets annually according to IRS regulations.
Mario Pedrozzi did not have any heirs, so the founding board was comprised of community members, including one representative from the Catholic Diocese of Oakland as stipulated in Mario’s will. The founding board members worked diligently to establish the Foundation’s organizational structure and operations, including a robust scholarship application and selection process. The first board meeting was held June 16, 2006.
The first scholarships were awarded in 2008 and since then a total of $2.3M has been awarded to 647 students. Since the beginning, scholarships have been awarded in the following categories: Technical/Vocational, Community College, Undergraduate, and Graduate studies. In 2013, the Foundation established 3 additional eligibility categories: Veterans Scholarships, Opportunity Scholarship (low income, first-in-family to attend college), and Principal Nominations.
From 2008 to 2011, the scholarship award amounts varied from $5,000 to $1,000 per year for one to four years. Beginning in 2012, to reach a broader range of students, the scholarship award amounts have been $1,000 per year for one to four years.
In 2013, the Foundation board members determined that it would be a benefit to the community to leverage Mario Pedrozzi’s gift and expand its mission beyond awarding scholarships. However, the funding for additional program and resources needed to come from additional donations as they could not be funded by the original endowment.
Prior to the fall of 2013, all additional donations were from board members. In the fall of 2013, the Foundation launched its first donation appeal campaign, targeting board members’ contacts and parents of Pedrozzi Scholars. Nearly $40,000 was raised during the first year of active fundraising. In 2014, the Foundation received notification of its first planned gift beyond Mario’s original gift. In his estate plans, John W. Houghton, a board member, established multiple endowed STEM scholarships to be funded upon his death.
In 2013, the Foundation established the PSAT Initiative in partnership with the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. This initiative allows all sophomores in the district to take the test at no charge on a school day. The initiative helps promote a college- and career-bound culture across the school district.
In 2014, the Foundation established the Outreach Committee which is responsible for identifying needs in the community and determining the most effective programs and services for the Foundation to offer in support of its goal of helping to create a college- and career-bound culture amongst all Livermore students.