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Rotary clubs award scholarships

LIHU‘E — The five Rotary clubs on Kaua‘i have announced recipients of the 2021 Hawai‘i Rotary Youth Foundation Scholarships.

Each student will receive $5,000 to attend an accredited four-year college or university in the United States.

The graduating seniors and the clubs nominating them are Kepler Niccore, Waimea High, Rotary Club of West Kaua‘i; Amber Asuncion, Island School, Rotary Club of Po‘ipu Beach; Kolten Gusman, Kaua‘i High School, Rotary Club of Kaua‘i; Jotis Russell-Christian, Kapa‘a High School, Rotary Club of Kapa‘a; and Wailana Marvin, Island School, Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay.

Each student will receive $5,000 to attend an accredited four-year college or university in the United States.

“We are so happy to support these students to continue their education,” said Ray Paler, HRYF trustee. “Despite the challenge of learning during a global pandemic, these students have risen to the challenge and excelled in their studies and community activities. We know they are going to accomplish great things and contribute to the community.”

Niccore plans to continue her education at Westmont College. She wants to study creative writing, and she dreams of being an author. She is also interested in physics. In addition to excellence in the classroom, she has been an academy ambassador at Waimea High and participated in volleyball and soccer.

Asuncion hopes to attend the University of San Diego or Pepperdine University to study microbiology. She dreams of building a better understanding of microorganisms and contributing to caring for the environment. She has been active in the Hui Kuleana Interact club, working on school restoration and community-service projects. She is also a volleyball player and dancer.

Business management is an interest for Gusman, in addition to organizational behavior and sociology. He hopes to attend Brown University or the University of Michigan. He dreams of creating a workplace where people are excited to be there. He has been an active volunteer at Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity, New Hope Lihu‘e and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. He has also run cross country and played volleyball and soccer.

Purdue University is top of the list for Russell-Christian to continue his education. His interests are in engineering and commercial aviation. In addition to academics, he has been an active volunteer with the Interact Club and Kapa‘a First Hawaiian Church.

Marvin dreams of being a physician and giving back to the community. She hopes to continue her education at the University of California at Los Angeles or Berkeley or the University of Colorado. She has volunteered at Makana Urgent Care in Princeville. She has also been part of the Hui Kuleana Interact Club, and has worked on community- service projects with the Rotary Club of Po‘ipu Beach. In addition, she plays volleyball and soccer.

Ted Faigle, Rotary assistant district governor for Kaua‘i, said, “Each Rotary club focuses on several different areas of service in the community. A key area of service for our Kaua‘i Rotary clubs is to mentor, assist and empower young people. These scholarships are one of the many ways that Rotary clubs in Hawai‘i do that.”

Each year, the 53 Rotary clubs across Hawai‘i select recipients for HRYF scholarships. Clubs and club members also donate to the foundation throughout the year in addition to volunteering their time and talents.

The HRYF was created in 1976 by the late Maurice “Sully” Sullivan, founder of Foodland Supermarkets, when he served as district governor for Rotary in Hawai‘i. It was his desire to assist Hawai‘i’s high-school graduates to realize their potential by attending colleges of their choice in Hawai‘i or on the mainland.

Since its inception, HRYF has granted scholarships across Hawai‘i totaling approximately $7 million. HRYF receives donations from Rotary club members and other community-minded people and foundations. Donations can be made at


Stephanie Shinno, education, business, and community reporter can be reached at 245-0424 or
Source: The Garden Island

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