A small group of civic leaders led by Pete and Paula Uccelli established The Sequoia Awards in 1990 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring volunteerism in Redwood City.
The first Sequoia Awards scholarship was for $500. Since then, The Sequoia Awards has grown significantly thanks to support from local businesses, other nonprofits, and individuals in our community who understand the importance of an active and engaged citizenry. To date, we have distributed more than $2.2 million in scholarships.
Our scholarships are based solely on the volunteerism of our honorees. Academics or participation in school-sponsored activities and athletics are not part of the criteria.
In 2021, The Sequoia Awards distributed more than $214,000 to 24 students representing 7 local high schools. This year, when the pandemic might have limited the volunteer activities of our community’s young people, we had so many remarkable candidates that we honored 5 Outstanding Students with scholarships of $16,000 each. They are: Ashley Barraza-Cazares, Sequoia High School; Itzel Ramos. Everest Public High School; Janet Lara Alvarez, Sequoia High School; Nataly Manzanero, Sequoia High School; Rohan Patel, Carlmont High School. Additional honorees received scholarships ranging from $6,000 to $8,500.
We also recognize one outstanding adult volunteer from our community. This year’s Outstanding Individual Award Winner, Nancy Radcliffe, was honored for her sweeping contributions to the community, including 20 years as a Redwood City Planning Commissioner; 8 years on the Redwood City Library Foundation Board of Directors; 20 years City Trees Board of Directors; founder of Morning Glories, a group dedicated to networking among women in business; and numerous other volunteer activities.
The purpose of The Sequoia Awards is to recognize high school seniors in the greater Redwood City area who have significantly contributed to their community through volunteerism above and beyond their educational requirements. The Sequoia Awards enhances educational opportunities for these students through an annual scholarship awards program. We also acknowledge and honor outstanding volunteerism by local residents.
Community service isn‘t just volunteering, it is being aware of the communities‘ needs and struggles, and filling in the places and times where it is needed. I chose to provide my community with opportunities for growth and support because I believe that everyone should feel welcomed, secure, and feel confident in advocating for their rights.”
The Sequoia Awards provides scholarships to high school seniors who are outstanding community volunteers. For many, we make the dream of a college education possible. We gratefully acknowledge the many organizations and individuals who make our program possible through their sponsorships, contributions of cash, and donations of in-kind goods and services.
Maybe you’d like to apply for a scholarship or nominate an outstanding local resident?