people holding a check

From left, from the Alakaʻina Foundation William Villa, Vaughn Vasconcellos, David Mortensen and Philip Kahue and from the University of Hawaiʻi John Morton and David Lassner.

The Alakaʻina Foundation, a Native Hawaiian organization, recently contributed $500,000 to establish the Alakaʻina Foundation UH Community College Technical Education Scholarship. This scholarship supports full-time and part-time undergraduate students pursuing a degree or certificate in vocational/technical education studies at any of the seven community colleges within the University of Hawaiʻi System.

This new gift builds on the Alakaʻina Foundation’s positive impact at UH. Last year, the foundation made donations to Kauaʻi Community College programs totaling more than $250,000. This included supporting the Alakaʻina Foundation Engineering Scholarship for pre-engineering students transferring from Kauaʻi CC to UH Mānoa, the Kauaʻi CC Innovation Center and the Kauaʻi CC Cognition Learning Center Fund.

“We are most grateful to the Alakaʻina Foundation for their ongoing partnership and generous support. Through their strategic philanthropy, they are helping build stronger communities by ensuring our residents can afford the education and training they need to succeed in the dynamic workforce of today,” University of Hawaiʻi Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton said. “Hawaiʻi’s economic health depends on having a strong pool of well-trained employees ready to work.”

The goal of the Alakaʻina Foundation is to ensure that students in K–12 grades have the skills and competencies they need to be effective leaders.

Alakaʻina in Hawaiian means ‘leadership,’ and our mission at the Alakaʻina Foundation is to build and promote leadership and education initiatives for na pua o Hawaiʻi, or the youth of Hawaiʻi,” Philip Kahue, executive director of the Alakaʻina Foundation said. “Our goal is to develop a new generation of leaders, especially among those who live in rural areas, who have the aptitude, attitude and vision to lead our communities and our nation in the future. We are excited to partner with UH to help nurture this next generation.”