Thanks to the vision of Maurice J. “Sully” Sullivan during his tenure as the 1976-77 Hawaii Rotary district governor, East Hawaii clubs this fall were able to interview and select 11 local graduating high school seniors and award a resounding $34,500 to launch their college careers.
During his tenure, Sullivan founded the Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation because of his desire to assist Hawaii’s outstanding high school seniors achieve their potential by attending a college or university of their choice. This foundation’s funds grow each year from many sources, including contributions from all 35 Rotary clubs in Hawaii on six islands. This year, more than $260,000 in scholarships were awarded statewide.
Outstanding students from area high schools will begin their bright futures with various scholarship awards from East Hawaii Rotary clubs.
From Hilo High School, Elizabeth Atkinson is attending Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Laurie McGrath is attending classes at the University of San Francisco California. Both were awarded $500 each by the Rotary Club of South Hilo.
The South Hilo club also awarded $500 to Mary Campbell from Saint Joseph High School to begin classes at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington state. Phoebie Furuli of Waiakea High School is starting her college career at George Fox University in Oregon with a $5,000 award from the South Hilo club.
Saesha Hanselman of Kamehameha High School received an award of $5,000 from the Rotary Club of Hilo. Saesha is attending the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
The Hilo Bay Rotary Club awarded $5,000 to Leiana Andrade Stout of Honokaa High School, who is attending the University of Wyoming.
The small but mighty Rotary Club of Volcano awarded $5,000 to Shylynn Kawamoto of Keaau High School to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A $2,000 award was given to Jake Villa of Ka‘u High School to start him off at Hawaii Community College and $1,000 to Monique Hughes also of Ka‘u to begin classes at Texas Tech.
The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset awarded $500 to Talia Liepold from the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences for classes at Meredith College in North Carolina. The Pahoa Sunset club also was the conduit for the Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation’s single “HRYF Outstanding Student Award” of $10,000, awarded to Charliemagne “Charlie” Julian from Pahoa High School, who is attending University of Hawaii at Hilo.
“It’s one of the best things about Rotary,” said East Hawaii’s assistant district governor Randy Hart. “Rotary helps communities both locally and around the world. But helping our outstanding young scholars helps to support our leaders of tomorrow. Since HRYF’s inception in 1977 until the spring of 2018, 1,750 scholarships totaling $6,488,313 have been awarded. That’s a pretty good start for a lot of excellent and deserving students.”