Hundreds of Recently Unemployed Residents Apply for New UH Scholarship

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The University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges are offering a new scholarship for residents whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 200 prospective students have already applied for the Kūlia Scholarship, which was announced on July 22. The scholarship is designed to support individuals who are striving to develop new skills or earn a degree. The deadline to apply is Aug. 10. Click here to apply.

Applicant Natasha Mangrubang, who had been employed by a hotel on the Big Island, said she sought the scholarship, “to change the trajectory of my career to better provide as a single parent of three children.”

Mangrubang is a domestic violence survivor who fought hard to escape her situation and become a better mother to her children.


“It is for these reasons why I give 110% each day to build a stronger foundation and a better future,” Mangrubang said.

The UH Community Colleges are awarding 500 scholarships for one free class (up to three credits) at any of the seven campuses statewide, including fees and required books (valued up to $500). The UH Community Colleges feature a range of programs and have been ranked as the most affordable community colleges in the nation.

To be eligible for a Kūlia Scholarship, recipients must:

  • Be a Hawai‘i resident.
  • Not have attended UH in the last two years.
  • Be furloughed or laid off from their full-time job due to COVID-19 impacts.

Priority will be given to those who are pursuing their first degree or industry-recognized credential.

“My motivation to attend college is to explore not only a new career path that will take me away from my current career in the tourism-dependent hospitality industry; but to also learn more about my Hawaiian heritage, and how I can help to enrich the lives of all Hawaiians,” said applicant Miriam Ashley Keo, previously employed in the tourism industry on Maui. “Through this COVID-19 pandemic, our eyes have been opened to the seclusion of our islands and lack of resources. However, we have also seen how we can come together to obtain resources and holomua (move forward) together. I hope to use this educational opportunity to learn and grow and contribute to our community.”

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