The Stupski Foundation through the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation has made a $1 million donation to establish a fund that will direct immediate cash payments to University of Hawaiʻi students impacted by the Maui wildfires.
The goal of the fund is to get money as soon as possible — with no application necessary — to students whose lives have been upended by the deadly fires, which destroyed thousands of homes and most of the town of Lāhainā.
“We realize that the recovery process from this devastating tragedy will take years, and we hope that immediate financial support can play a small role in supporting the health and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff who were directly affected,” said Cheri Souza of Stupski Foundation.
Students impacted by the fires enrolled at UH Maui College or any of the other nine campuses in the UH System are eligible for the fund.
"The Stupski Foundation has been an amazing partner for UH for a number of years," said UH President David Lassner. “This gift will help students pursue their higher education goals and dreams, which will absolutely lead to better lives for them and their families."
“It’s extraordinary how our private foundations step in where they’re needed the most to help fast-track immediate disbursements to students and their families,” said Tim Dolan, UH vice president of development and UH Foundation CEO. “We’re grateful for the Stupski Foundation’s quick action and the difference it will make for so many of our students.”
UH Maui College serves its community with programs offering associate and bachelor’s degrees to more than 2,000 full- and part-time students in a wide range of programs. It will be the most critical partner in providing workforce development and retraining opportunities to support Maui residents who will need to transition into new jobs and new opportunities.
“As our Fall 2023 semester is about to begin, this very generous gift will take the immediate pressure and stress off our students, faculty and staff directly affected by the wildfires,” said UH Maui College Chancellor Lui Hokoana. “We are already sending funds out to our students. We are so grateful to the Stupski Foundation for their unwavering support of our college and our community.”
“We hope others in the community will join us in supporting these students, faculty, and staff during this extraordinary crisis,” Souza said. “This fund will help them and their loved ones today, so that they can continue to build their futures.”
This gift builds on $6.4 million the Stupski Foundation has invested in UH since 2018, which includes $1.8 million last year to fund a diverse set of initiatives to help students navigate the financial aid process as well as connect to basic services and resources such as housing and food.
The Stupski Foundation is a private foundation returning its assets to the communities it calls home in Hawaiʻi and the San Francisco Bay Area by 2029 to support just and resilient food, health, and higher education systems for all.
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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. uhfoundation.org