Entering University of Hawaiʻi—West Oʻahu junior Coralyn Sunico wept as she explained what being the recipient of a University of Hawaiʻi Presidential Scholarship Award meant to her, as the first person in her family to attend college.
“It means a lot, because growing up with my family, there was no one who could help, so I didn’t know what to do, I was so lost,” Sunico said. “I just really wanted to continue school, because I wanted to gain that knowledge and help other people.”
Kamehameha-Hawaiʻi graduate and University of Hawaiʻi Regents Scholar Ciarra-Lynn Parinas echoed her gratitude. “This scholarship means the world to me,” said Parinas, who plans to become an English teacher. “It means my family’s security.”
Sunico and Parinas were among 30 outstanding University of Hawaiʻi students honored at the 2015 Regents and Presidential Scholarship Awards Dinner. Home school graduate Rebekah Loving, who plans to study computer science at UH Hilo, was designated as the inaugural Senator Daniel K. Akaka Regents Scholar for Academic Excellence. She chatted animatedly with the former senator during the event.
“The Regents and Presidential Scholars are the best Hawaiʻi has to offer,” said Randy Moore, chair of the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents. “Keep them here. Have them inspire others as well as themselves, absorbing all the university has to offer. Find their passion and pursue it. Go forth and make Hawaiʻi a better place.”
The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents established the Regents and Presidential Scholarships in 1986 to support students with a record of outstanding achievement at any UH campus.
Regents Scholars receive a full tuition waiver for four years of undergraduate study. Presidential Scholars receive a full tuition waiver for two years of
undergraduate study. All scholars receive $4,000 a year and a one-time travel grant of $2,000.
Regents Scholarships are awarded to 20 outstanding freshmen who receive an SAT combined score of at least 1950 on all three sections of the test or ACT combined score of at least 29, maintain at least a 3.5 GPA in academic subjects in high school and whose extracurricular achievements are shown to be remarkable. The 2015 Regents Scholars hailed from 15 different high schools across the state.
Presidential Scholarships are awarded to 10 college juniors who have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7 for all college level work, a record of sustained progress in academic courses and evidence of superior academic achievement or creative endeavor.
For more information on the University of Hawaiʻi Regents and Presidential Scholarship Awards and a full list of awardees, please see www.hawaii.edu/raps.