Pearlnalin Rilan Anien and Srue Wakuk
From left: Pearlnalin Rilan Anien and Srue Wakuk

A non-profit organization supporting the success of Micronesians in Hawaiʻi awarded two University of Hawaiʻi students scholarships. UH Hilo biology major Pearlnalin Rilan Anien and UH Mānoa public health graduate student Srue Wakuk are the first recipients of the Dr. Joakim Peter Memorial Scholarship, a $1,500 award. Recipients are known as A+JOJO Scholars and are emerging leaders from the Micronesian community who exemplify the life and values of community service.

Doctor Joakim “Jojo” Peter
Dr. Joakim “Jojo” Peter (Photo credit: www.ajojoscholars.org)

Anien aspires to become a medical doctor to care for her people. “Being an A+JOJO Scholar will open up more opportunities to expand my services to the community,” she explained. “I believe in hard work and perseverance. Without these two values, I would not have been where I am today.”

The scholarship was created in 2019 in honor of Dr. Joakim “Jojo” Peter, a UH alumnus. The educator dedicated his life to advocate for the well-being of his people.

Wakuk currently holds an internship at the UH Cancer Center, and is eager to pass on Peter’s legacy. “He fought for healthcare coverage for all Micronesians. He once told me that it was his intention to change how people see disability. He wants the world to look at him just like a normal human being regardless of his physical well-being. He paved the way for us today and people remember him with great dignity,” Wakuk wrote.

The scholarship selection committee reviewed 17 applications from high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students before naming the two recipients.

—By Moanikeʻala Nabarro