2022 Honoka’a Business Association Scholarship Awards

The theme for this year’s scholarship campaign was “Let Us Help You Grow”.

When we crafted the message, little did we know that it would apply to the whole program, not just the students. When we asked the community for financial support for additional scholarship funding, the program grew as well.

The HBA’s previously budgeted scholarship funding was $2,500. Thanks to the generous contributions from our community, we were able to award an additional amount of just over $5,000 to bring the total award funding to Hāmākua students to over $8,000.

This additional funding made it possible to award scholarships to a total of 13 students in various amounts.

Congratulations go out to four students who did good work explaining their goals for further education and their past accomplishments and challenges. Those students are Logan Kumai-Ho, Sione Latu, Ethan Seo-Sandoval and Leiya Margareth Torrano. They were each awarded $200.

In the next group three excellent students were awarded $500 each toward their post secondary education. Congratulations to Lily Mood, Jamielyn Margheim and Kamuela Andrade-Stout.

For the past several years the Honokaʻa Business Association has awarded a Community Affirmation prize. This prize recognizes a student who has demonstrated extraordinary resilience and drive to reach their educational goals and to whom the community wants to emphasize that “We believe in you!” This year that prize, for $500, goes to Solana Olival.

In the next category the scholarship committee was pleased to award $750 each to Precious Kaneapua, Jaselyn Mahoe-Subica and Julie Anne Perez-Nava in recognition of their hard work and outstanding scholarship.

The HBA Evelyn Andrade Scholarships are awarded to students who show strong motivation to pursue their dreams through continuing their education, who demonstrate accomplishments in their lives to date, and who have thought carefully about how they will finance their education.
This year that honor goes to two students, Sophia Whitesell and Elise Barthel. They were awarded $1500 each to put toward the next phase of their educational journeys.

Sophia Whitesell, a senior at Honoka’a High and Intermediate School, with a grade point average of 4.1, will attend the University of New Mexico. Inspired by her biology and AP Environmental Science classes she intends to pursue a degree and a career in Environmental Science. With a demonstrated history of helping others and a solid understanding the value of community Sophia says, “I hope that with my education, I can increase my potential to benefit people, both in my area and across the world.”
Elise Barthel also wants to make positive changes in the world. Although she experienced disruptions and challenges in her high school career, finishing via an online distance program, she never lost sight of her educational goals and personal initiative. Her hard work earned her excellent offers from a number of colleges. She will be attending New York University, spending her first year at their campus in Florence, Italy. At this point Elise is leaning towards studying criminology but says, “Whatever career I choose, I will give back to my community, and work towards bettering the future of Hawai`i by addressing social injustice.”

Each year the HBA also partners with the Hāmākua Youth Center to provide additional scholarships through the Hāmākua Youth Foundation. This year the Big Dave Scholarship was awarded to three students going into non-medical fields of study. Elise Barthel was awarded $1,000, and Sione Latu and Solana Olival each received $500. The $500 Jacqueline McCandless Scholarship is awarded to a student interested in pursuing a medical or related field, and was awarded to Precious Kaneapua. Stacy Disney also provided a $500 scholarship this year, with the award going to Kamuela Andrade Stout.

The HBA Scholarship committee was impressed by all of the student’s applications and is pleased to be able to reward students for their efforts and dedication in the very challenging circumstances of the pandemic years. Huge credit goes to our community who stepped up to contribute to the fund and make these awards possible.

The Honoka’a Business Association would like to thank Grace Flowers Hawaii, Villi Wilson of Scada Controls, Barbara Franklin, Esq. Attorney at Law, Jeannette Soon-Ludes of Kilo Collaborative LLC, HFS Federal Credit Union, Marlene Hapai of Andrade Café, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, Kō Education Center, Michelle Darby of Honokaʻa Public House, Ross Stephenson, Sarah Anderson, Audrey Maxwell, Jerry McEwan, Dana Pettys and Mariah Toledo for their generous contributions. This funding has helped both the students to grow and has grown the HBA Scholarship program. Mahalo Nui Loa!