HCF Scholarship Breakfast Brings Recipients, Donors Together

August 11, 2019, 8:22 AM HST (Updated August 12, 2019, 10:05 AM)
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Scholarship recipients and donors talk story at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation Scholarship Breakfast on Aug. 10, 2019. PC: Hawai‘i Community Foundation

More than 300 scholarship recipients and scholarship donors gathered at Pōmaika‘i Ballrooms in Honolulu on Aug. 10, 2019, for the annual Hawai‘i Community Foundation Scholarship Breakfast.

The event began with an ‘ukulele performance by scholarship recipient Summer Kealoha Derrickson, who was born and raised in Hawai‘i and now attends Loyola University in Louisiana where she majors in music industry studies and minors in jazz studies.

“My college education would not be possible without scholarships like the one I received this year,” Derrickson said. “Because of the scholarships I received, I have freedom from financial strain and worry, which gives me the ability to focus attention on my classwork and extra-curricular activities so that I may continue working toward my career goals. My summer job has been giving private voice and ‘ukulele lessons to students in Louisiana, which allows me to continue to be an ambassador of Aloha; sharing my culture, food, music and heritage with those who want to learn. It’s truly an honor to be at Loyola, representing Hawai‘i.”

“We are so proud of the students here today who are among thousands that receive support from generous scholarship donors every year,” said Kathryn Nelson, senior vice president of philanthropy at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF). “This event provides students with the opportunity to personally thank those who have made their educational goals more attainable.”

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According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, US median household income is almost the same as it was 20 years ago, which means that the rising cost of an education is becoming increasingly difficult for families to shoulder.

“My mom raised me on her own and worked hard to ensure I would receive the best education possible,” said Kainoa McCauley, student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “The Dr. Hans and Clara Zimmerman Foundation Health Scholarship and the ‘Imi Na‘auao Scholarship are reducing the loans I have taken out. My mom rests a little easier knowing that my medical school loan balance won’t be quite so high. After I finish schooling, I plan to come home to Hawai‘i to work and pay forward the generosity I’ve received.”

HCF distributes over 280 types of scholarships on behalf of generous individuals, local organizations and corporate donors. Students may learn more by accessing the online application to be matched with multiple scholarship opportunities.

The foundation also provides the First Generation Community Scholarship for students who are the first in their families to attend college. This scholarship fund accepts gifts of all sizes through the HCF webpage at HawaiiCommunityFoundation.org/Give.

HCF is the third largest private provider of scholarships in the state and distributed more than $7 million in scholarships in 2019. For more information, please visit HCF’s website here.

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