Think About It: This Project Shows Progress - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

March 9, 2015

Think About It: This Project Shows Progress

The King William Charles Lunalilo Scholars Project was launched at Kapi'olani Community College in the summer of 2012 through the generous support of the Kaneta Foundation and the University of Hawai`i Foundation. Last week I got to see first-hand just what kind of positive difference this program is making for first and second year students who are, at a minimum, financially at-risk. Some of these aspiring and inspirational scholarship recipients come from foster care or near-homeless situations; some saw no hope in their futures; all aim to reverse a family trend of ignoring advanced education as a viable road toward gaining confidence, skills, and the tools essential to eventually make a difference in their lives and for our state.

The program now has over 40 students involved, but the wait list is equally as large as more funding is needed. The donor cost to provide a Lunalilo scholarship student a chance to gain confidence, interact with peers, become mentors and evolve as a more productive citizen is $6,000 for first year students. In year #2, students apply their new financial and organizational skills to secure their own funding through scholarships or grants as they continue their educational and life-changing journey.

This program supports students who have shown potential and been recommended by teachers and counsellors, yet lack funds and perhaps an inner faith initially to consider the leap into college. It is a program that works, and you can find out more by searching under "Lunalilo Scholars" on the UH Foundation's website or simply Google the words "Lunalilo Scholars Project".  You can help the next class of youngsters and adults make a difference as they transcend stereotypes and persevere beyond their wildest dreams. And then we all win. Think about it…

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