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  • Hawaiian Electric Supports Science and Engineering Students with $50,000 Gift

Hawaiian Electric has donated $50,000 to the UH Mānoa College of Engineering in support of programs that encourage students to pursue careers in STEM fields. The Native Hawaiian Science and Engineering Mentorship Program's (NHSEMP) Freshman Bridge and the 2019 Engineering Student Ambassadors Program are both aimed at reaching students during an important juncture in their academic life and providing them with the resources to excel as future professionals and leaders.

“A clean, sustainable, and resilient future for Hawaiʻi relies on building a 21st century workforce of technology innovators, critical thinkers and solution-oriented leaders,” said Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of public affairs, a member of the UH Mānoa College of Engineering Dean’s Council, and a Native Hawaiian engineer. “That’s why we gladly support educational initiatives like the NHSEMP and Student Ambassador programs that provide opportunities for our students to cultivate their interest in the STEM fields and prepare them for future success.”

Impact of this $50,000 award

  • The Native Hawaiian Science & Engineering Mentorship Program (NHSEMP) serves over 100 Native Hawaiian and underrepresented undergraduate students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields annually. The goal is to nurture leaders in the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island communities though academic excellence in the STEM fields.

The NHSEMP Freshman Bridge is a 10-week math-intensive summer program that supports incoming college freshmen with an interest in the STEM fields. The program prepares students for college-level math courses and the college experience. It offers mentoring, professional development and cultural workshops. After completing the program, participants receive an educational stipend and are enrolled in gateway STEM courses and an introductory engineering course. They also receive continued mentorship and access to resources from the NHSEMP Undergraduate Scholars Program to support their ongoing success.

  • The College of Engineering Student Ambassador (ESA) program was developed to increase recruitment and retention at the College of Engineering. Each semester, the college hires undergraduate ambassadors who are trained to conduct STEM outreach and recruitment, especially in low-income and under-represented communities statewide.

The student ambassadors attend community events and mentor high school students, as well as support the high school internship program by serving as event coordinators and mentors.

Engineering Student Ambassador Austin Yoshino said, “Being an ESA has helped me develop professional skills that are crucial to my career endeavors especially in the areas of networking, marketing, and leadership.” Yoshino continued, “My work experience has provided me chances to connect with the industries and led to multiple internship opportunities. This funding from Hawaiian Electric will greatly benefit our program. Not only will it allow us ESA's to continue working and giving back to the college but it will also enable us to provide higher quality experiences for our community of current and prospective students as well.”

College of Engineering Dean Brennon Morioka said, “This new Hawaiian Electric award and the strategic programming it supports, will help us grow the next generation of engineers, from communities statewide. On behalf of all of us at UH, mahalo!”

 L-R: Brendan Bailey, Scott Seu, Brennon Morioka, Stewart Chong, Kevin Saito, and Kelli Ching.

 L-R: Brendan Bailey, Scott Seu, Brennon Morioka, Stewart Chong, Kevin Saito, and Kelli Ching.

Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808 376-7800 or send us a message.

FOR UH • FOR HAWAIʻI, The Campaign for the University of Hawaiʻi, is focused on raising $1 billion to support UH priorities on all 10 campuses across the state, including student success; research that matters; kuleana to Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi; sustainability, resilience and conservation; innovation and entrepreneurship; building Hawaiʻi’s workforce; and engaging our community. Learn more at

Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808-956-8700 or send us a message.

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The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.