About The Sequoia Awards

The Sequoia Awards provides scholarships to high school seniors who are outstanding community volunteers.

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Our Story

It All Started
in 1990

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 $2.8 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 2024, The Sequoia Awards will distribute $194,000 to 25 students representing 7 local high schools.

Our Outstanding Student of 2024 is Antonio Campbell-Rodriguez, who attends Carlmont High School. Antonio received the top scholarship of $25,000. Antonio’s varied skill set and big heart has positively impacted many people in our community. His causes include My New Red Shoes, a non-profit organization that benefits foster youth, and Mission Bit, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering underserved youth through coding and computer science education. Antonio helped organize the “Hack The Bay” event in Oakland, which exposed Black and Latinx youth to technology, coding, and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) projects. In addition, Antonio runs a business buying and selling socks, donating 100% of the profits to local non-profits that are aligned with his interests. He also works one-on-one mentoring an autistic middle school student, and, with patience and caring, is helping the boy to improve his confidence and social skills through sprots.

In addition to honoring local students, each year The Sequoia Awards recognizes an Outstanding Individual for their continuing volunteer work in our community. This year’s honoree is Ken Rolandelli. Everyone who appreciates our city’s rich and engaging history benefits from the work Ken has done as Redwood City’s volunteer historian, preservationist, and facilitator of public benefit projects. He has 45 years of service with the City’s Historic Resources Advisory Committee, and since 2022 he’s served as the president of the Sequoia High School Alumni Association. His many accomplishments include the effort to add Sequoia to the National Register of Historic Places and the installation of bronze plaques around the campus marking notable campus features, and the relocation and preservation of Lathrop House in downtown Redwood City.

 See the complete list of our 2024 honorees and the sponsors who made their award possible. 

Our Mission

Our mission is to inspire and recognize volunteerism in Redwood City.

“”I now realize there are so many ‘invisible’ people navigating a world that’s not designed for them, whether it’s someone with autism, someone from a low-income background, someone from the LGBTQ+ community, or any other underrepresented group. It is our duty as leaders to see things through different perspectives and redesign a world that includes all.”

— Antonio Campbell-Rodriquez, 2024 Outstanding Student Award Winner

Sponsors and Donors

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.

Ready to apply for The Sequoia Awards?

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