In partnership with The Switch, Las Positas College, and Innovation Tri-Valley, the Pedrozzi Foundation has brought Scholars and local start-up companies together. This project is known as the Boomerang Program because it seeks to return bright students studying throughout the state and country back to the Livermore area. The idea originated with Innovation Tri-Valley’s Education Committee with the hopes of attracting business and retaining Tri-Valley talent. This summer students are working in downtown Livermore at The Switch, an incubator and coworking space for startups, entrepreneurs, tech developers, and creatives powered by i-Gate.
During the pilot phase of this program (the goal is to expand Tri-Valley wide in the future), a few local students have had the opportunity to intern with a start-up company and gain both summer work experience and college credit through the Las Positas College Work Experience Course. Five Pedrozzi Scholars are working at The Switch this year, and the Boomerang Program seeks to expand to other Tri-Valley students as it grows. Matthew Pham, a chemical engineering major at the University of California, Berkeley, has been working with i-Gate Director Brandon Cardwell to help build a biology lab for The Switch space.
Shannon Meyer, Jaine Tabrett, and Peyton Woelk have been working for Nyentek, a software engineering service. 2017 Pedrozzi Scholar and University of California, Davis student Shannon Meyer has enjoyed the experience stating, “As a content marketing intern, I am working on a summer-long project where I research federal and international regulations for medical devices and help write articles that will guide medical device startups through the process of building FDA and ISO compliant technology. As a Political Science and Economics major, it’s so encouraging for me to see the writing and critical thinking skills I’ve been developing in my classes applied in the real world. I am learning so much from the work I am doing and from the leadership of the creative and motivated Nyentek employees. I cannot think of a better way to spend my summer, and I hope that future returning scholars will get as much out of the Boomerang program as I have.”