Over $25K in scholarships available to Big Island graduating seniors

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The nonprofit Hawaiʻi Rise Foundation and its community partners have opened their 2024 scholarship application program, offering over $25,000 worth of scholarships to Big Island students.

The first $1,000 scholarship was donated by Keaukaha General Store in Hilo in 2017. Throughout the years, the scholarships have grown and sponsors have inspired others to create scholarships of their own.

This year varying scholarship amounts will be distributed to Big Island seniors in support of their future endeavors. The scholarships are offered to graduating seniors islandwide and residents of Hawaiʻi Island.

Students interested will be asked to answer essay questions in the application process. Some questions encourage students to look into their past and share how they have grown through adversity. Others prompt them to look at issues in their communities and consider ways to give back and improve where they come from.


Some scholarships have a preference for those pursuing a specific major, like nursing, political science, Hawaiian studies and more. Each scholarship is different and has been uniquely created by its sponsor.

Applications are open now through June 15. Awardees will be notified in July and a formal scholarship ceremony sponsored by the Hawai‘i Rise Foundation will be held at the Hilo Yacht Club for scholarship winners.

Click here or visit the Hawai‘i Rise Foundation on Instagram to apply.


The Hawaiʻi Rise Foundation was founded by Big Island business and community leaders seeking to leverage their expertise, resources and experiences to support their community. Their mission is to create opportunities for vulnerable or moderate and low-income families, children and the elderly by providing educational services, programs and support.

The scholarships’ partner sponsors include:

  • Aloha Will Save The World Scholarship – Bronson Kobayashi & Alaina Villatora
  • Charles & Dorothy DeSilva Scholarship – Lisa Robbins
  • Danny K. Paleka Memorial Political Science Scholarship – Susan Paleka
  • Hawai’i Development Group Scholarship – Lailan Bento
  • He Manu I Ka Lewa Lani Scholarship – Manuheali’i
  • Hill-Estabilio Scholarship – Rinna & Mikey Hill
  • Hilo Yacht Club Scholarship – Hilo Yacht Club
  • Ho’opuakea Scholarship – Napua & Kealani Canda
  • Holomua Scholarship – Keaukaha General Store
  • Kim and Kids Scholarship – Breeani, Bronson and Brock Kobayashi
  • Na’au Ho’omaika’i Scholarship – Ka’iulani Hedlund
  • Pumehana Scholarship – Brock and Shoshanna Kobayashi
  • Rachel’s Gift – ‘ohana of Rachel Leilani Gangwes

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