Virginia Pinnock Scholarship Fund, Inc.

Non-profit Organization

2017 Community Service Awards


All proceeds go towards a scholarship for a graduating senior who lives in Hartford or attends school in Hartford, CT. Join us as we celebrate the VPSF Community Service Award, Recipients.

"With heartfelt gratitude for your tireless effort and support for students in the Hartford Community!" - Dr. Joan Coleman

Lorenzo Ricketts

Lorenzo RickettsLorenzo has influenced the lives of numerous urban players through his coaching and organization of soccer activities. He has been the driving force behind the Martin Luther King soccer program in Hartford for over 35 years. He has championed education and character building through his coaching and mentoring of young men and women. Initially, the goal of MLK was to have one player attend and graduate college. Since MLK started in 1979, He has encouraged and directed over 400 hundred young adults to attend college by giving them the skills needed to succeed and showing them the path through soccer. In 2005 he received the

Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association 'Outstanding Contributor Award'. Mr. Ricketts was inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014. Outside of soccer, he has won numerous awards for service to his community. He was also nominated three times to The White House for the national volunteer of the year. In 2005, he was the founder of the Family Resource Aid program in the Hartford School system. Mr. Ricketts also founded a community food kitchen out of the Bloomfield United Methodist Church, in Bloomfield CT. This program feeds individuals from shelters, senior housing and anyone in the community in need. With this program, Mr. Ricketts have engaged other churches and community organizations to provide help to those in need. Mr. Ricketts has embodied what it means to be a humble servant.


Dayl Walker

Ms. Walker is a Program Director at Connecticut Business and Industry Association, a member of the Advisory Board of the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology, and State Scholars – High School Manufacturing and Technology.

Ms. Walker has a strong passion for helping students navigate through their difficulties in order for them to find a suitable career, not just a job. She consistently encourages and coach students regarding business professionalism and demeanor. She works tirelessly reaching out to Connecticut businesses to guarantee paid internships for students at the Academy of Engineering & Green Technology. Her goal is similar to the Virginia Pinnock Scholarship Fund: help graduating seniors finish a post-secondary education and obtain a career.

Ms. Walker ran the Hartford Half Marathon for the tenth times to raise college scholarship funds for the wonderful students at the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology. “I have had the privilege of working at the Academy for the past 10 years, and the students are the reason I get up at 5:00 AM and run through the summer and fall months, training to run.”


Gary Hilbert

I joined Hartford High's FIRST Robotics team in 2000 at the invitation of a co-worker at Pratt & Whitney knowing only that it involved building robots with high school students. I decided to join because I like building things, was interested in but knew little about robots and I had some free time after my own children became adults. From the very beginning, I was amazed by the group of teachers and mentors who ran the team. They devoted countless hours to teaching, working with and having fun with the students while building the robot. I was surprised to see what a positive and in some causes profound impact, this student/adult interaction had on the students. I quickly became convinced that the FIRST model of student/adult teams working on a fun challenging project was an excellent way to positively influence the students. The positive influence was measurable. Student team members had a 100% high school graduation rate, most continued their education, entered the workforce and became self-sufficient. Many students attended very prestigious colleges and now have accomplished professional careers.

As the years progressed, the team faced many challenges: A five-fold funding reduction from Pratt & Whitney, loss of space at HPHS due to renovation, retirement of the founding mentor/teacher, loss of our workshop on Park Street, constant drain of young mentors as their family obligations increased, just to name a few. As each of these challenges arose, unforeseen events helped save the team. Unexpected funding from large donors, a HPHS alumni donation of a meeting space, renewed commitment from school administrators, new dedicated and enthusiastic teachers, increased parental support and mentorship, dedicated team alumni mentors and much more. Thanks to all of these factors, the team always pulled together and is now celebrating its twentieth season.

Joining the Hartford Public Schools FIRST Robotics team was one of the best things I have ever done. It was a lot of fun for me to learn new building skills, be involved in the exciting competitions and watch the students learn and build things. It is a great joy and privilege to witness the students mature, graduate high school and become successful contributing members of our society. I can't think of a better way to spend my time.