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More than two dozen Native Hawaiian Organizations have given to UH campuses and programs.

Hundreds of Native Hawaiian students have been able to attend a University of Hawaiʻi campus thanks to the financial investments of Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs). NHOs are nonprofits that also have majority ownership in one or more for-profit small businesses that compete for federal contracts, and whose profits are returned to Native Hawaiian communities.

More than two dozen NHOs have given to UH, with Alakaʻina Foundation and The Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation taking the lead, investing a combined $5 million over the past five years. These gifts are helping to grow a pipeline of Native Hawaiian leaders to address social, economic and cultural issues.

Alakaʻina Foundation

Tevita Hala Latu

Tevita Hala Latu of Hilo is in his second year of studying for a fire science degree at Hawaiʻi Community College with the aid of an Alakaʻina Foundation UH Community College Scholarship. Hala Latu plans to become a firefighter after he graduates and said the scholarship has allowed him to focus on being a full-time student and to pay for books, supplies and materials.

“I couldn’t do it without you,” Hala Latu wrote in a letter of appreciation to Alakaʻina Foundation. “I will prove to you that your investment was well spent. I am currently a 3.8 GPA student and I am motivated to do better. Mahalo, Mahalo, Mahalo for your support!”

large group of people holding a check
Alakaʻina Foundation presented gifts to UH at an event at Windward Community College in August 2023.

Alakaʻina Foundation’s UH Community College Scholarship supports students pursuing degrees or certificates in vocational and technical fields. The foundation also supports, the Digital Bus Program and scholarships at Kauaʻi Community College; UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language; the UH Mānoa Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge; UH West Oʻahu; Leeward Community College; and Windward Community College.

The Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation

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Angilynne Pekelo-Cedillo

Angilynne Pekelo-Cedillo of Waiʻanae was able to complete her master’s degree in social work at the UH Mānoa Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health last year with support from The Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation’s Haumana Scholarship.

“As a non-traditional [student and] Native Hawaiian mother of seven children, returning to school was difficult financially,” she said. “I owe part of my success to people that make up organizations and foundations that invest in people like me.”

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The Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation presented gifts to several UH colleges in January 2024.

The Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation has given multiple gifts to support UH Mānoa’s Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health, School of Ocean & Earth Science and Technology, Linguistics Department, Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, and UH West Oʻahu.

For more, go to the UH Foundation.

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