Jaunty green and white signs are dotting dozens of front yards in Livermore these days.
"Proud Home of a Pedrozzi Scholar," they read. "Congratulations!"
The Pedrozzi Foundation is awarding $327,500 in scholarships to 86 students in Livermore who are continuing their education at community colleges, as undergraduate or graduates of colleges, and at trade schools. Of the 2020 Pedrozzi Scholars, 23% will be the first in the family to attend college.
The foundation also has named 11 who are completing fifth grade as Pedrozzi Young Scholars, due to their focus on being model students. This part of the program promotes opportunities for high achieving students from Marylin Avenue Elementary School by providing support throughout their middle and high school years.
Due to shelter-in-place orders, the foundation's annual Scholar Recognition Event was held virtually via Facebook Live at 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 26, with guests joining in from near and far. Also, Pedrozzi board and staff members made visits to the homes of the scholars to deliver certificates, pins, event programs and the yard signs.
"Thank you so much! It's an honor to be part of this foundation," Young Scholar Jimena Soltero wrote in a thank you note. "I understand I have to work hard to achieve anything I want in life. Knowing that you guys will be here for me makes me happy and more confident."
Kaycee Bilke is a Pedrozzi scholar for the second time as she graduates from Las Positas College and heads to Cal State East Bay to pursue a degree in human development with an emphasis in early childhood development and a multiple subject teaching credential.
"I am so excited to be receiving the Pedrozzi scholarship again," Bilke said. "After being awarded a community college scholarship in 2017, I became involved with the Pedrozzi Foundation and love everything it does for Pedrozzi Scholars, future applicants and students in the community."
"Working while being a full-time student is difficult, but I learned so much about myself and what it takes to make my dreams come true," she added. "Having Pedrozzi support me again makes me feel that I am constantly supported by my community, and that everything I do is accounted for and recognized."
The Pedrozzi Foundation was established by Mario Pedrozzi, a Livermore businessman, who left his estate as a gift to the community. Others are continuing this legacy by donating to the high impact community organization, which looks after its scholars year-round. Its emergency grants program provided a needed laptop to a Pedrozzi Scholar as students quickly transitioned to distance learning this spring, and it also helped by providing information.
"Anticipating that many college students may need to submit Financial Aid appeals, defer loan payments, and apply for emergency grants at their schools, we immediately shared timely information with Pedrozzi Scholars," Executive Director Carolyn Siegfried said. "Our support for students extends beyond providing critical scholarship dollars."
The 2020 Pedrozzi Scholars are as follows:
Young Scholars: Aaron Ables, Katheryn Alberto, Amy Arizmendi, Alexa Cameron, Amaya Elong, Yaney García, Angel García-Ramírez, Christopher Luis, Julian Magaña, Anthony Mata, Jimena Soltero
Community College Scholarships: Zoey Bost, Jared Dalusong, Marissa Gracia, Bonnie King, Blanca Lopez Alas, Marisa Mayfield, Sara Morris, Alexis Ramirez, Miguel Rodriguez, Brennan Songey, Rachael Songey, Lauren Webb, Karra Wilcox
Apprenticeship Tool Scholarship: Leobardo Hernandez, Jimmy Rodriguez, Jesse Rollins
Undergraduate Scholarships: Parker Anderson, Zachery Armstrong, Mason Bammer, Gino Barbalinardo, Jarret Baucke, Sanjana Bhanvadia, Kaycee Bilke, Chelsea Bohling, Charles Brown, Melissa Castillo, Sadie Eldredge, Jacqueline Fenner, Elsa Friedmann, Kayla Galo, Ayushmaan Gandhi, Taylor Glace, Destiny Goddu, Cameron Gray, Anthony Guerra, Elliot Ha, Julia Hanson, Jiajun He, Juan Hernandez, Emma Hyde, Emily Ilharreguy, Allison Jamison, Seth Jeppson, Kyle Johnson, Trevor Johnson, Abdul Karim, Joseph Katen, Joshua Kim, Paula Leigh, Kylie L'Eplattenier, Laurie Liu, Blanca Lombera, Christopher Miller, Brennan Mock, Luke Moylan, Sydney Myers, Sabrina Nabizada, Macarena Novoa-Delfin, Peyton OCallaghan, Phoebe Omweg, Jessica Ortiz Pedraza, Isabella Palmer, Melane Pham, Erin Pickett, Laura Rambo, Delaney Richards, Zoe Richards, Morgan Rogge, Sohum Shah, Carlie Spruiell, Radha Sri-Tharan, Kayla Steinhorst, Madeline Turk, Avni Vachhani, Erin Vigil, Jesse Watson, Austin Weinshelbaum, Jessica Weise, Megan Wharton, Stephanie Wilkinson, James Wu, Douglas Wynne Graduate Scholarships: Kristin Allen, Shoshana Cohen, Benjamin Gomes, Joshua Knight
Since 2008, the Pedrozzi Foundation has given $4.8 million to 1,312 recipients. For more information, visit pedrozzifoundation.org.