HCF Scholarship Awards Total More than $6 Million
The Hawai‘i Community Foundation recognized 350 outstanding scholarship recipients and donors at its annual scholarship breakfast on Saturday, Aug. 5. Student scholarship awardees had the opportunity to thank the individuals, businesses and organizations who contributed to the HCF scholarship funds during the breakfast event.
“All of our donors have their own personal story that inspired them and sparked their generosity to establish funds with us,” said Micah Kāne, HCF CEO. “This annual brunch allows us to not only recognize the student recipients for their hard work and achievements, but also to provide the donors the opportunity to share their stories with the students.”
HCF distributed more than $6 million in scholarships to more than 1,300 students this year to address rising tuition costs, according a news release by the Foundation. A Public Agenda study found that 30 percent of students attending a four-year college or university drop out after their first year, and 71 percent of college dropouts cited financial challenges and their need to work.
“Now, more than ever, students need the financial support so they can complete college,” said Eric La‘a, senior development officer. “And it is through the support of so many of our donors that these students can succeed and finish school. We also hope that the generosity of our donors will be inspiration for the next generation to pay it forward and continue the cycle of giving.”
HCF has been working with donors to establish more multi-year scholarships to provide students with a grant every year for four years, as long as they meet established criteria.
Public school teacher Lindsay Kosasa, daughter of ABC Stores executive and past HCF board member Paul Kosasa, recently established a multi-year scholarship after recognizing the importance of continued financial support for students who want to complete a degree.
HCF said it is also focused on providing scholarship support to first-generation college students who will be the first in their families to attend college. The program is called the First Generation Community Scholarship Fund.
Chante Carter received the HCF First Generation Community Scholarship and is currently studying at Chaminade University to obtain her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
“My family is very proud of me, but they aren’t able to afford to support my education, so every dollar that I received in scholarships has helped to support my dream of becoming a nurse one day,” said Carter.
At Saturday’s event, HCF also launched its Instagram account (@HawaiiCommunityFoundation) and promoted a new campaign to encourage the student scholarship recipients to commit to being philanthropic. The “I am Phil” campaign encouraged students to post Instagram photos from the event’s photo booths for a chance to win one of five prizes of a $100 donation to their nonprofit organization of choice.
HCF is the third largest private provider of scholarships in the state and has distributed nearly $60 million in scholarships over the past 15 years, according to the Foundation. HCF administers over 200 scholarships on behalf of its donors and clients. Each year, students fill out one online application to be matched to multiple scholarship opportunities.
For more information, visit HCF’s website.