three students smiling
Kahuku and Kamakau HS students Kamanaleo, Kawehi and Moe will receive the Hoʻolei Scholarship for their first year at Windward CC.

Financial support worth 50% of tuition is now available to Windward Oʻahu high school students enrolling at Windward Community College. The Windward CC Hoʻolei scholarship was created with a grant from Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

The Hoʻolei Scholarship will provide the equivalent of a half-tuition scholarship for the entire first year at Windward CC to 2021 graduates of public and charter schools in Windward Oʻahu. For students with financial need, the Hoʻolei Scholarship offers hope.

scholarship poster of student

“COVID-19 has had such a huge impact on our communities. Our resilient families have been combining resources, incomes and households to survive. We want our children to thrive, and not to set aside their dreams of college because of the economic realities of the pandemic and its aftermath,” said Windward CC Chancellor Ardis Eschenberg.

Known for its beautiful setting, nurturing learning environment and diverse student body, Windward CC is a 2-year transfer institution with easy transfer to 4-year programs in the University of Hawaiʻi System, and more. The college offers innovative programs in science and the arts, and opportunities to gain knowledge of Hawaiʻi and its unique heritage. Faculty are recognized for their excellence in teaching and personal attention to student academic needs. Peer mentors also help new students navigate college through an excellent first-year experience.

Hoʻolei scholarships allow our students to pursue college and the rewarding, often higher paying careers it opens doors to, growing the students and providing for our families and communities. Our seniors are our next community leaders! Hoʻolei, through the generosity of Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, provides the possibility for college and a pathway to leadership!” added Eschenberg.

Helping students persist during COVID-19

scholarship poster of student

Many families statewide have been hit with hard economic realities due to the pandemic, which has impacted college enrollment. Fall 2020 college enrollment for the class of 2020 has dropped by 50% compared to 55% for the class of 2019.

In the Koʻolau region, all public high schools—except James B. Castle High School—saw a drop in college-going rates for seniors graduating in spring 2020; one school experienced a drop in college enrollment of 11%.

Windward CC has made a significant commitment to serving the needs of students during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing food to hungry students through the Meals with a Mission program. Now, the Hoʻolei Scholarship will provide $400,000 of tuition support to high school graduates attending Windward CC over the next two years.

Innovative program offerings

Some of the unique range of programs offered at Windward CC include:

  • The only veterinary technology associate’s degree in Hawaiʻi and veterinary assisting certificate leading to jobs in the veterinary medicine field.
  • An agripharmatech certificate with an entrepreneurial emphasis on plant-based bioproduct research, design and manufacturing.
  • The nursing pathway apprentice program from CNA to LPN to ADN (associate degree in nursing).
  • Visual and performing arts programs with opportunities to practice in a world-class theatre and gallery.
  • More than 60 Hawaiian studies courses including Polynesian voyaging, Hawaiian language, music, hula, mythology and coral reef biology.
  • Noncredit certification courses in recreational thrillcraft and ocean safety education (tow-in surfing) prepare students for entry into the workforce.

“This has been such a hard school year. Planning for the future is always difficult, especially now. We cherish all the young people in Windward Oʻahu and hope this scholarship makes it a little easier to pursue their most ambitious dreams. And we hope many will launch those dreams at Windward Community College, a dynamic learning institution in our own backyard,” said Alex Harris, vice president of programs at Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

To learn more about Windward CC’s Hoʻolei Scholarship program, email hoolei@hawaii.edu.

Learn more about Windward CC’s college programs.