Hilo student awarded Gabelli scholarship


Hilo High School student Kenneth “Kenny” Heikes was awarded the Boston College Gabelli Presidential Scholar academic merit scholarship for four years full tuition of $240,000.

This premier honor’s program offers a rich academic experience, combining rigorous coursework and challenging co-curricular opportunities with service learning. Additional awards will be presented to cover travel and living expenses for three international study tours, three summer experimental learning programs and a study abroad program.


The Gabelli Presidential Scholar program seeks to develop exceptional scholars and leaders for the common good.

Heikes and 50 national and international finalists received an all expense paid trip to Boston College and spent a week attending interviews and evaluations. He was awarded a place in the honors scholar program along with 14 other incoming freshmen with impeccable academic records, credentials and leadership skills that demonstrated superior achievement and promise, with the potential to become global leaders.


Throughout the next four years, Heikes will work closely with an assigned faculty mentor in his area of academic interest who will advise on a wide range of academic and professional matters, internships, graduate schools, full-time positions and collaborate on research projects. He also will meet weekly with other scholars to discuss their areas of academic concentration, hear various speakers, attend dinners to meet alumni and donors, and attend symphony/concerts as a group.

Heikes maintained a 4.2 grade-point average throughout his middle and high school career. He was also offered merit scholarships from University of Chicago, University of Rochester, Johns Hopkins University, University of Southern California and Cornell University.

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