On March 22, 2016, the National Football Foundation’s Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley chapter hosted its 46th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet. This event is held to recognize graduating high school seniors who have excelled academically, on the football field and within their respective communities.
Chico completed high school with a 4.06 grade point average, while Nguyen graduated with a 3.7. Chico was ranked as the top graduating senior in his class at Rio Honda Prep, was selected class valedictorian and is a Magna Cum Laude winner of the National Latin Exam. He was also named the 2015 Football MVP of the Prep League. Nguyen received an International Baccalaureate high school diploma, which has a more rigorous curriculum than standard high school diplomas. He is a youth volunteer with Grace Church of Glendora and works 8-15 hours per week at a local movie theater.
Each year the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley chapter reviews submissions from the 68 public and private high schools who participate in the chapter’s awards. Scholarships are then provided to the athletes selected from the various sponsors for the annual banquet. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses has partnered with the National Football Foundation (NFF), both at the national level and locally with the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley chapter for years, contributing scholarship funds for the young men who receive this prestigious award.
In the fall, Dominico Chico will attend the University of California, Los Angeles, where he plans to major in Biology. Ryan Nguyen will attend Grand Canyon University in the fall, where he plans to major in Nursing.
The newly renovated Jackie Robinson Field opened to the public on March 9th 2016 and had several representatives from the Dodgers, PUSD, various funders for the project and elected officials present.
The renovation was sparked by an article in the LA Times that brought to light the poor conditions of the baseball field at John Muir High School. Being that the school is the alma mater of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, this article became the catalyst to create real change at a school in desperate need of support.
Several philanthropic entities came together to begin raising money to renovate the baseball field at John Muir High School. The Pasadena Education Foundation (the foundation associated with the Pasadena Unified School District) and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation became the two leads for the project with respects to logistics and fundraising.
In December 2015, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association began having conversations with the Pasadena Education Foundation to discuss the Tournament’s potential involvement in the project at John Muir. By late January 2016, the Tournament had made an agreement with the City of Pasadena and PEF to ensure $10,000 be committed towards the project on the behalf of the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena.
The $260,000 project allowed the field to be completely rebuilt, with new side and outfield fencing, foul poles, a blue windscreen scoreboard and yellow top cap in the outfield. The backstop and dugout fencing was repaired and new metal dugout roofs were installed, making the field one of the best high school baseball fields in San Gabriel Valley.
More importantly, John Muir won its first game on the new field a few days later.