STEM scholarships benefit Leeward students

August 10, 2012  |   |  1 Comment
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North Star Scientific’s Sharmaine Swisher, Robert Swisher, Jim Stamm and Leeward Community College Chancellor Manny Cabral celebrate their partnership in support of student scholarships.

Students at Leeward Community College pursuing studies or a teaching degree in the science, technology, engineering or math fields now have an even greater opportunity to obtain scholarships towards their education thanks to a $75,000 pledge from North Star Scientific to support scholarships for full-time and part-time students.

This new gift from the Kapolei-based company builds on its $30,000 gift in 2009 that established the North Star Scientific Scholarship.

To date, this scholarship has benefited 26 students, many of whom were graduates of Leeward-area high schools including ʻAiea High School, Campbell High School, Kamehameha Schools, McKinley High School, Mililani High School, Moanalua High School, Pearl City High School, Waiʻanae High School and Waipahu High School.

“I see so many students struggling to pay their tuition,” said Aileen Lum-Akana, who has served as Leeward’s financial aid director for the past 10 years. “We are sincerely thankful to North Star Scientific for reaching out and providing our STEM students with much needed financial support.”

North Star Scientific was started by James Stamm and University of Hawaiʻi alumni Robert and Sharmaine Swisher in 2001. It designs, develops, tests and flight qualifies high performance electronics for land-based, ship-based and airborne Department of Defense applications.

“We at North Star Scientific are honored to have the opportunity to share our blessings and support individuals in our community who are furthering their career paths through education,” said Stamm, president and CEO. “At the same time, we are seeding the future local workforce with the technical skills we will need to grow our staff and the high tech industry in general.”

Robert Swisher graduated with his associate degree from Leeward in 1993 and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1997 and a master’s degree in engineering in 1999, both from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Sharmaine Swisher graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UH Mānoa in 2001.

“Sharmaine and Robert Swisher are wonderful examples of alumni who truly believe in giving back,” said Leeward Community College Chancellor Manny Cabral.

Read the Midweek West Oʻahu cover story to learn more about the donation.

— Adapted from a University of Hawaiʻi Foundation news release

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  1. Dear Sir and Madam,

    I mean braddah Robert and sistah Sharmaine!!! Wow!!! Thank you GOD! You are truly examples of compassion in action, I want to be just like you, too! May your endeavors at North Star continue to prosper and make a unique difference in the “Sciences”.

    Alumni like both of you inspire me to forge ahead with my studies at LCC, so I can be part of the solution and not part of the problem. You make feel proud to part of the UH system.

    I love UH and am thankful for the endless possibilities they offer the communities of Hawaii Nei and their friends.

    I am a student at LCC and currently working with my counselor to become a STEM major.

    Keep up the good works and thank you for your “Compassion in Action”, by investing in our community. GOD BLESS YOU!

    Sincerely,

    MKA Kurt K.

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