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From left: Brendan Bailey, Scott Seu, Dean Brennon Morioka, Stewart Chong, Kevin Saito and Kelli Ching.

Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) donated $50,000 in July 2019 to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering in support of programs that encourage students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields.

The Native Hawaiian Science and Engineering Mentorship Program’s (NHSEMP) Freshman Bridge and the 2019 Engineering Student Ambassadors (ESA) Program are both aimed at reaching students during an important juncture in their academic lives and providing them with the resources to excel as future professionals and leaders.

HECO Vice President Scott Seu shakes hands with a UH Mānoa student.

“A clean, sustainable and resilient future for Hawaiʻi relies on building a 21st century workforce of technology innovators, critical thinkers and solution-oriented leaders,” said Scott Seu, HECO senior vice president of public affairs, a member of the UH Mānoa College of Engineering Dean’s Council and a Native Hawaiian engineer. “That’s why we gladly support educational initiatives like the NHSEMP and student ambassadors programs that provide opportunities for our students to cultivate their interest in the STEM fields and prepare them for future success.”

“This new Hawaiian Electric award and the strategic programming it supports will help us grow the next generation of engineers, from communities statewide,” College of Engineering Dean Brennon Morioka said.

More on NHSEMP and ESA

NHSEMP serves more than 100 Native Hawaiian and underrepresented undergraduate students in STEM fields annually. The NHSEMP Freshman Bridge is a 10-week math-intensive summer program that supports incoming college freshmen with an interest in the STEM fields.

Undergraduate students in ESA are hired and trained to conduct STEM outreach and recruitment, especially in low-income and under-represented communities statewide. The student ambassadors attend community events and mentor high school students, as well as support the high school internship program by serving as event coordinators and mentors.

“Being an ESA has helped me develop professional skills that are crucial to my career endeavors especially in the areas of networking, marketing and leadership,” Engineering Student Ambassador Austin Yoshino said. “My work experience has provided me chances to connect with the industries and led to multiple internship opportunities.”

Learn more about the gift, programs and other ways UH Foundation is helping to facilitate community collaboration.

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