Genevieve “Gen” Giammanco was a strong, joyful and loving person. She embraced life with infectious enthusiasm and reached out to others with laughter, friendship and compassion. She was an eager learner and a talented athlete, determined to achieve her best in the classroom and on the volleyball court. Following her death at age 17 in a unfortunate car accident on April 9, 2010, along with her close friend, those blessed by knowing Gen saw even more clearly what a remarkable girl she was and what a beautiful and gifted young woman she was becoming. This Award is an expression of their love and their wish that Gen’s life serve as an inspiration for students who believe in themselves and in what they can accomplish for the betterment of all.
Gen was born on January 12, 1993, in Monterey, the youngest of three children to Vince and Annie Giammanco. Her family was her treasure, and she was theirs. Whether she was jumping off houseboats at the lake, zipping down a water slide with her cousins or riding a roller coaster with her grandma, she shared her zest for life and freely expressed her love in words and deeds. Her loving older brothers were her heroes, but she also was a fierce competitor who couldn’t resist a game of basketball, tennis or ping-pong with them and their friends. She loved watching her brother Leonard play baseball and visiting her oldest brother Vincenzo on set during his movie production. In school, she earned the admiration of teachers who saw how grounded she was and how much she loved being at school. They appreciated her smile and her humor, and they witnessed how she gave of herself to those around her, sensing when someone might need her kind attention. Though Gen had yet to look too far ahead at her life plans, she was an avid writer who showed interest in the film career pursued by one of her brothers.
Gen’s great passion was volleyball. She played for the Salinas High School Cowboys and Volleyball Clubs in Monterey County. On the court, as in life, Gen was dedicated and tough. Her teammates knew they could always count on her for a defensive save, and they rallied around her. One of her greatest accomplishments and honors was being part of the Cowboys team that won the Northern California Division I Championship and competed for the State Championship in 2009.
Gen Giammanco touched those around her in a way that made them laugh and love her all at once. This Award will forever be a tribute to the life she lived and the difference she made. It is given in her honor, with hope that it will make a difference in others’ lives, now and in the future.