The Zachary Michael Cruz Foundation

The Zachary Michael Cruz Foundation

by Frank Cruz

I began meeting with a group of first responders from the Berkeley Fire Department and local EMTs in the year and a half after Zachary died. Over breakfast, we would talk about Zachary and ways I could help others in honor of his memory. At the time, I was also searching for a way to honor people just like you, people from my community who supported my family in big and small ways immediately following Zach's death. After some long discussions about Zach, his passions, and our own, we decided to focus our work on educational giving and pedestrian safety. On October 25, 2010, the Zachary Michael Cruz Foundation was officially born.

Our first project, in 2009-2010 was the Zachary Cruz EMT Tuition Scholarship. While we only supported one student, I'm proud to say that because of the scholarship, this student completed her EMT training and certification and is now serving her community in the East Bay.

2010 saw the implementation of our Pedestrian Safety Awareness and Enforcement Campaign in Berkeley, as well as the dedication of a $50,000 technology improvement grant, in Zachary's name, for the benefit of the 300+ school aged kids at Le Conte Elementary in Berkeley, where our son was a kindergartner.

But the project that is closest to our hearts, and the core of the Foundation's work at the moment, is the Zachary Cruz Memorial Scholarship at UC Berkeley. We established this endowed scholarship for transfers and student-parents at Cal in 2010. Since then we have awarded $35,500 in scholarships to 13 exceptional UC Berkeley students and we expect to give $10,000 in scholarships again this year.

The work we've done so far to help others in Zachary's name makes me incredibly proud. I hope it says something about the kind of love and devotion he inspired in our hearts and I hope that through this work, he will never be forgotten.