AAUW awards 8 scholarships

The American Association of University Women Hilo Branch recently awarded eight scholarships to women attending the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College.

AAUW’s mission is to support equity for women and girls through education, leadership and advocacy. Supporting higher learning in the Big Island community is essential to that mission.


The 2019 scholarship recipients are:

• Maya Goodoni, a tropical conservation and environmental studies major at UH-Hilo. Her long-term goals are to be involved in an agency that addresses controversial issues, educates community members and promotes resiliency for Hawaii’s unique socio-econmic and ecological systems.

• Heather Padilla is nontraditional student at UH-Hilo, working part-time as a paraprofessional tutor at a local elementary school and raising two children. She is majoring in English and hopes to someday be an English Teacher at Keaau High School.

• Kailee Yoshimura is working on her bachelor of science at UH-Hilo with the goals of attending medial school and eventually becoming a radiologist. She is working as a U.S. Department of Agriculture research student assistant, on the path of her life-long goal of making a positive difference in the world.

• Annalise Cogan was born and raised in Africa and recently gained her American citizenship. She is in her second year of the nursing program at HCC. She plans to complete her bachelor of science in nursing, which will allow her to work in a hospital setting. Her ultimate goal is to complete a master of science in nursing so she can become a nurse educator.

• Shantel Akau is pursuing her dream of becoming a registered nurse through the bachelor of science in nursing program at UH-Hilo. She has spent five years working in the health field as a nurse’s aide and medical assistant. Her dream is to obtain a master’s degree in nursing, with the goal of becoming an advanced practice registered nurse in her hometown of Hilo.

• Skye Narvaez will graduate with her bachelor’s in communications and educational studies this fall. After graduation, she plans to volunteer at local elementary schools to gain experience before applying for the master of arts in teaching program at UH-Hilo. She plans to eventually pursue a doctorate in education and teach at the college level.

• Ariana Dolan is pursuing a bachelor’s in agriculture and animal science with a pre-veterinary specialty at UH-Hilo, while minoring in biology and obtaining a beekeeping certificate. She is volunteering at Hilo Veterinary Clinic. She hopes to attend Colorado State University for her doctorate in veterinary medicine, specializing in internal medicine.

• Annabelle Mufalli set her sites on raising her family and being a college student. She is interested in working in the drafting, surveying or civil engineering fields. She is enrolled in the architectural engineering and AutoCAD technology program at HCC. She plans to continue her education at a UH campus.

The AAUW Hilo Branch raises funds throughout the year by hosting several events to support these scholarships. The organization also has regular program meetings that feature a variety of speakers who present information about current events and other topics of interest.

The branch also has book clubs and a hiking group.


Women with an associate’s degree or equivalent bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university are invited to join.

Contact for membership questions.

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