In an effort to improve Native Hawaiian students’ access, support and success in college, Kamehameha Schools made a $250,000 gift to support the Lunalilo Scholars Program, the innovative 13th Year program at Kapi‘olani Community College. This award builds on Kamehameha School’s earlier $1.5 million donation in support of University of Hawai‘i 13th year initiatives statewide.
The Lunalilo scholarship program was launched in 2012 when the college partnered with Lester and Marian Kaneta of the Kaneta Foundation to start a scholarship program. To date it has served 278 students. This $250,000 gift from KS will allow the program to support 100 scholars in the 2018-2019 school year and increase the number of Native Hawaiian students in the program. Three summer bridge programs were added to support the increase in scholars.
Director of the Lunalilo Scholars Program LaVache Scanlan said, “This generous gift from Kamehameha schools, coupled with ongoing support from donors including the Kanetas, shows our scholars how much our community believes in them and wants to provide the programs and support services to help them fulfill their dreams.” Scanlan continued, “Many of our Lunalilo Scholars have succeeded beyond their expectations and are now on track to graduate from four year colleges. Thanks to donors, and our students’ hard work, the future is bright.”
What is the 13thYear Initiative?
The Hawai‘i 13th Year Initiative makes college possible for students who would not otherwise have this opportunity due to financial and other compelling barriers. The program actively recruits high school students and adults least likely to attend college and then supports them intensively during their first year of study (the 13th year) at a UH community college. The program also provides support to students beyond the first year as they make their way toward their certificate/degree.
Students receive financial and other supports e.g. counseling and peer mentoring, to reduce barriers to entering and succeeding in college. This comprehensive commitment to student success makes the 13th Year Initiative unique among other scholarships because it provides integrated support beyond only financial contribution.
Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton said, “Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges share a vision that higher education is a powerful tool to help Native Hawaiians and all Hawai‘i citizens attain a better quality of life for themselves, their families, and the community.” Morton continued, “The 13th year initiative brings that higher education opportunity to individuals whose potential is recognized by others even if they did not see themselves as “college bound”. We are very grateful to Kamehameha Schools for its generosity in extending the successful 13th year program throughout all the community colleges.”