Transforming Lives, One Scholarship at a Time

Matthew Randazzo shares how McKesson helped his family break intergenerational poverty nearly 27 years ago and put him on the path to success.

Read time: 2.5 minutes

It’s been 35 years since the McKesson Foundation awarded its first scholarship. Since that time, the Foundation has awarded more than $3.6 million in academic scholarships to children of McKesson employees, supporting more than 770 students during their college journeys and, ultimately, helping their academic and career dreams become a reality.

One of those scholarship recipients was Matthew Randazzo. His mother’s employment with McKesson not only helped transform his family’s life, but also played an instrumental role in putting him on the path to becoming a successful nonprofit executive today.

Journey Out of Poverty

Matthew grew up with his mother in Inkster, Mich., a suburb of Detroit. He was born into intergenerational poverty – a relentless cycle in which poverty is passed down from one generation to the next. Resilient and determined to create a more stable life for her family, Matthew’s mother found support from the community.

Her lucky break came when she was introduced to a local vocational services organization that worked to place displaced homemakers into living-wage jobs by providing job training, coaching and support. At the time, McKesson was one of the local employment partners.

The company hired her in 1990 to join the pharmacy systems help desk. Despite it being her first professional job, she quickly excelled in her department. Within three years, Matthew’s mother became director of the entire help desk team of 30-plus members.

Matthew credits the vocational services organization for giving his mom the training she needed to grow professionally, and to McKesson for helping lift his family out of poverty.

Matthew Randazzo and his family.

Matthew Randazzo and his family.

Path to a Great Future

In 1996, Matthew was awarded a McKesson Foundation scholarship, allowing him to earn his Bachelor of Arts in political science and Latin American studies at Albion College in Albion, Mich. He then went on to graduate school at the University of Texas – Austin and earned his master’s degree in public administration.

Each year, McKesson awards scholarships to the dependents of McKesson employees in the U.S. and Canada based on outstanding academic achievement, community service, leadership and financial need.

“Once my mother learned about the scholarship program, that was even more of a game changer,” he says. “I felt like I could choose the best college for me without worrying about costs or being overly burdened by student loans.”

Since then, he has spent most of his career working in the social services sector to help advance educational equity and curb intergenerational poverty. Matthew is currently the president and CEO of a Dallas-based organization that invests in local nonprofits to meet today’s pressing needs and position the Dallas region for a brighter future.

“McKesson changed our lives – the support my family received truly set me on a path for a great future,” he says. “My mother’s stable job allowed my family to buy a home, go on vacation and invest in my education, and, ultimately, to live a better life than we were living. Now it’s my turn to pour back into the community like it did for me.”