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Announcing Our 2024 Winners

03/04     |    Latest News
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The Sequoia Awards is pleased to announce our 2024 Sequoia Award winners. They include a selfless, results-oriented young man who gave 300+ hours of his time to local causes, putting his education, entrepreneurship, interpersonal and social media skills to work to benefit the underserved in our community; and a Sequoia High School alumnus who has been the driving force behind preserving Redwood City’s history, artifacts, and properties and has led numerous public benefit projects.

This year, 25 Redwood City-area student volunteers will receive a total of $194,000 in college scholarships in recognition of their exemplary volunteer work. The scholarships are funded by individual contributors, local philanthropic organizations, and corporate donors.

“We are honoring these students who have given so much of themselves to help others. By volunteering and reaching out to others in need, they have made our community stronger,” said Ed Everett, Sequoia Awards Board Chair. “These passionate students gave of their time and talents even though many of them were also facing their own challenges. We all have much to learn from these amazing students. Our nation’s future is bright with young people of this caliber.”

The 2024 Outstanding Student of the Year and $25,000 Scholarship Winner is Antonio Campbell-Rodriguez.

Our Outstanding Student of 2024 is Antonio Campbell-Rodriguez, who attends Carlmont High School. Antonio will receive the top scholarship of $25,000.

Antonio’s varied skill set and big heart have positively impacted many people in our community.

He served as an ambassador for My New Red Shoes, a Redwood City-based non-profit organization that benefits foster youth, and led fundraising efforts that included a social media campaign, a garage sale, and a movie night.

Antonio is working toward a career in technology and coding. The COVID-19 pandemic opened his eyes to the digital divide — the gap in opportunity between those with internet access and those without it — . and prompted him to join the Student Advisory Board of Mission Bit, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering underserved youth through coding and computer science education. He 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 ways that are fun and engaging.

A natural entrepreneur, Antonio’s next venture was a business buying and selling socks. He created a social media campaign to promote the business and donates 100% of the profits to local non-profits that are aligned with his interests.

While these efforts have helped many young people, his one-on-one work mentoring and coaching an autistic middle school student may be the most remarkable. When Antonio first met Nathan, he was struggling mentally, socially, and emotionally. He could barely dribble a basketball, and would walk off the court if he missed a shot. With patience and caring, Antonio helped Nathan push through adversity. Nathan eventually learned to do crossovers and dribble between the legs, and mastered his jump shot. As his basketball skills grew, so did his confidence and social skills.

“Prior to meeting Nathan, I knew very little about autism or neurodiversity,” Antonio says. “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.”

The 2024 Outstanding Individual of the Year is Ken Rolandelli.

In Redwood City, few stand taller than 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.

Ken served for many years on the board of the Redwood City Heritage Association (RCHA),

working to preserve the significant historical artifacts and properties of Redwood City, including the successful relocation and preservation of Lathrop House, built in 1858.

Ken also was a driving force behind the passage of the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance. Out of that effort came the Historic Resources Advisory Committee. Ken joined the Committee in 1980 and now serves as Member Emeritus — his 45th year of service.

Ken graduated from Sequoia High School in 1963. Since 2022, he’s served as the president of the Sequoia High School Alumni Association. Among many accomplishments, he was instrumental in the resolution of the Cherokee mascot controversy, facilitating an amicable solution and transition to Ravens that satisfied all parties.

Friends and colleagues describe Ken as a true gentleman — thoughtful, sincere, and diplomatic. “When Ken agrees to take on a project,” wrote one admirer on his nomination form, “He puts his heart and soul into it, and it is always a success.”

24 Additional Scholarships for Redwood City Students

In addition to our Outstanding Student scholarship, 24 high school seniors will receive scholarships from The Sequoia Awards, ranging from $6,000 to $12,500.

Here is a complete list of all the student scholarship recipients and the sponsors who made their scholarships possible:

$6,000 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

MARIANA BARRAZA-CARLOS
Sequoia High School
Sponsor: The Beals Family Scholarship in memory of Nick Hatzopoulos

JOHANNA CASTILLO
Sequoia High School
Sponsor: Gloria Kennett Memorial Scholarship

BRITNEY CASTILLO SUAREZ
Eastside College Preparatory School
Sponsor: Alice W Coghlan R.N. Scholarship (funded by Liza and Frank Bizzarro & Diane and Dr. Steven Howard)

ABEL CHAVEZ
Sequoia High School
Sponsor: Dignity Health

KODY COCHRAN
Woodside High School
Sponsors: Redwood City Police and Firefighters

DESTINY CORTEZ ESTRADA
Crystal Springs Uplands School
Sponsor: The Sobrato Organization

DANIELLE FUENTES VASQUEZ
Woodside High School
Sponsor: Billee Werby Memorial Scholarship (funded by Barbara and Jerry Pierce, Paula Uccelli, & Lori and Dennis McBride)

ANGEL GUZMAN RICO
Summit Preparatory Charter High School
Sponsor: Monterra Credit Union (previously known as San Mateo Credit Union)

MYLES HU
Carlmont High School
Sponsor: Oracle USA, Inc.

TYMOFIY KORNYEYEV
Carlmont High School
Sponsor: Graystar

ASHLEE LANDIN PACHECO
Sequoia High School
Sponsor: Stanford Health Care

ALYA MADHANI
Woodside High School
Sponsors: Tony and Ali Uccelli and Lee Cheerful Giving

SOPHIA ORTIZ
Woodside High School
Sponsor: Lyngso Garden Materials

ELENA RODRIGUEZ
Sequoia High School
Sponsor: Sares Regis Group

ELIZABETH ROMERO DE LA ROSA
Sequoia High School
Sponsors: Tara Fowler, Bob Haeussiein, Merrill, and DPR Construction

KAYLA TSUI
Woodside High School
Sponsors: BKF Engineers

NATHALIE VASQUEZ
Woodside High School
Sponsor: Heritage Bank of Commerce

AVERY WONG
Carlmont High School
Sponsor: Hannig Law

JESSIE YUAN
Carlmont High School
Sponsor: Will Richardson Memorial Scholarship

$10,000 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

SUSHANT BHOPALE
Carlmont High School
Sponsor: Hannig Environmental Research Organization

KIMBERLY GOPAR
Sequoia High School
Sponsor: Black Mountain Properties LLC

MERCEDES MARTIN
Sequoia High School
Sponsor: Crittenden Family Foundation

$12,500 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

ABIGAIL RENE
Woodside High School
Sponsors: Kaiser Permanente, Richard Franceschini and Robyn Franceschini Budelli , Recology of San Mateo, Stanford Health Care

MICHAEL SARBORARIA
Nueva School
Sponsor: Hannig Sail It Forward Foundation

W.L. Butler Construction and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative were also generous donors this year. Their donations allowed us to increase all of the above scholarships to the amount listed.

ABOUT THE SEQUOIA AWARDS

The Sequoia Awards recognizes high school seniors who live in the greater Redwood City area and have significantly contributed to their community through volunteerism above and beyond their educational requirements. We enhance educational opportunities for these students through an annual scholarship awards program. We also acknowledge and honor outstanding volunteerism by local residents. A small group of civic leaders led by Pete and Paula Uccelli established The Sequoia Awards in 1990 as 5a 01(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and donors, and the work of an all-volunteer board, we have distributed more than $2.8 million in scholarships. For more information, go to sequoiaawards.org.

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