The 2017 student innovators and award recipients will be celebrated at the seventh annual Dreammakers and Risktakers Award Luncheon at the Palm Event Center in the Vineyards in Pleasanton, on October 5, 2017.

Livermore’s Christensen Middle School student inventors of the Wheel Chariot have created a modified wheel chair and communications device that allows nonverbal, wheelchair bound students to participate in physical activities alongside their able-bodied peers. Wheel Chariot innovators are members of the school’s Makers Club who collaborated with members of Girls Who Code as mentored by leaders at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. The project was also supported by the Livermore Valley Rotary Club and the Livermore Valley Education Foundation. Christensen Middle School student award recipients are Ashley Horch, Manvitha Nandamuri, Katelyn Silva, and Emma Rose Weidemeier.

A senior at Dublin High School, Allison Loo is the founder of PATCH. Through PATCH, which stands for Plushies Aimed to Comfort Hearts, Allison has partnered with the CALICO Center in San Leandro to deliver stuffed animals to children of abuse. Allison has used her own personal story to inspire other students to come forward, empowering them to give back and provide comfort for other children who have also suffered abuse. Allison was nominated by the Dublin Unified School District as an energetic, caring and bold young role model.

The Hangar is a vocational skills classroom located on the Village High School campus in Pleasanton. The Hangar is staffed by students with special needs who are learning job skills while they also provide clothing to Pleasanton families in need. Students beginning in the sixth grade can learn vocational skills like washing, hanging and presenting clothes as part of the curriculum as they work in the shop. They are also learning how to work with customers to serve as personal shoppers. 2017 Dreammakers and Risktakers award recipients from the Pleasanton Unified School District all support The Hangar project and include: Megan Brown, Antonin Dagron, Austin Fitzgerald, Connor Gowey, Kerry Howlett, Kaitlyn Kegel Martinez, Joshua Layman, Alexander Mataban, Cailan Newey, Nicholas Pereira and Brennan Sweeney.

Paulina Gurevich is a senior at Tri-Valley Middle College located at Las Positas College and Vice President of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society, the honor society of the California Community College system. Using social media and ingenuity, she created a campaign to rally broad community support for Operation Backpack, donating school supplies and backpacks to homeless students statewide through Volunteers of America, and also here in our region at Abode Services Homeless Coaltion. Paulina’s creativity and empathy exemplifies the ideals of excellence and integrity that are found in all of the 2017 Dreammakers and Risktakers. The Middle College program at Las Positas College is a collaboration between the College, the Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Program, Dublin Unified School District, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District and Pleasanton Unified School district. This alternative high school program offers students a rigorous high school education while concurrently earning college credits. Middle College is an innovative pathway to college and career readiness that integrates high school, college and career training on a community college campus.

The 7th Annual Dreammakers and Risktakers event salutes the Tri-Valley’s youngest innovators and the awardees represent school districts all across the Tri-Valley region and Las Positas College. “For years, we have been inspired and amazed by these young dreammakers and risktakers,” said Dale Eldridge Kaye, CEO of Innovation Tri-Valley. “Their projects are not only technologically advanced but also weave in social innovation components that demonstrate a heartfelt desire to make the world a better place.”

To join the 2017 Dreammakers and Risktakers luncheon celebration, register at

About Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group

Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV) is a collaborative group of business leaders dedicated to the Tri-Valley: The Heart of California Innovation. By bringing together companies, non-profits, and regional thought leaders committed to innovation, ITV is improving the innovation climate of the region, spurring job growth, and expanding the vibrant Tri-Valley community. Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group represents the business, education and government stakeholders in the 5 cities and 2 counties that comprise the Tri-Valley Region.