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 2020, The Sequoia Awards distributed more than $175,000 to 25 students representing 8 local high schools. Our Outstanding Student Award winner, Maria Casique, received the top award of $25,000. Maria overcame numerous personal obstacles and founded the Connect Tutoring Center, which provides one-on-one STEM tutoring to younger students. Additional honorees received scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $11,000.
We also recognize one outstanding adult volunteer from our community. This year’s Outstanding Individual Award Winner, Annette Soby, was honored for her 3 decades of community service, including extensive work with the Kainos Home & Training Center and the Peninsula Covenant Church.
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.
To me, volunteering meant, and still means, having the strength to tackle and be a part of something greater than yourself and your own personal needs, and in turn comes the most important part: influencing others to do the same and setting off an unstoppable chain reaction across your community.”
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?