The Pedrozzi foundation has awarded $459,000 to 127 Livermore students this year -- 20% of whom are in the first generation of family members to attend college, according to a statement from the organization.
“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!," said recipient Evelyn Arroyo Magaña who attended Granada High School and the Middle College Program at Las Positas College. She is now headed to UC Berkeley.
The foundation held its annual recognition event at the Bankhead Theater where recipients were able to share their plans for the future, pose for photos and left with items of recognition, including yard signs.
The event also honored the 11 newest Pedrozzi Young Scholars, who are selected for being model students with strong academic accomplishments. The program aims to promote equity for high-achieving students from Marylin Avenue Elementary School and provides support throughout their middle and high school years.
While most funding for Pedrozzi Scholarships comes from an endowment established by Livermore businessman Mario Pedrozzi, an additional 23 scholarships were funded by donors this year, including three new memorial scholarships created in honor of Livermore residents who made a positive impact.
Among the newly established awards was an anonymously funded scholarship in memory of Hunter Diemert, a Livermore High School sophomore who died in a car accident last August -- just shy of his 16th birthday. This year’s recipient of the scholarship honoring Diemert 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 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 scholarship recipient Lukas Sifter. Sifter plans to become a paramedic and firefighter. He 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, died 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, according to the Pedrozzi Foundation.
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.
"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,” said Livermore Vice Mayor and Cupps' wife, Gina Bonanno.
Since 2008, the Pedrozzi Foundation has awarded $5.7 million to nearly 1,600 Livermore students.
A complete list of donor-funded scholarships is available at Pedrozzi.org.