UH West Oʻahu students impacted by COVID benefit from $10K gift

A person writing on paper at a table with a laptop.

A generous gift to the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu will help students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to continue their educational endeavors.

The Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation Inc. gifted $10,000 to the UH West Oʻahu Student Aid Fund for students’ emergency needs in response to COVID-19 – for financial challenges such as food, rent, childcare, and access to better technology because classes have moved online.

“We so appreciate the generosity of Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation in providing the financial support to sustain our students in their pursuit of a college education,” said Dr. Jan Javinar, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UH West Oʻahu. “These funds could not have come at a more opportune time with many of our students currently facing uncertainties. The foundation’s thoughtfulness is much appreciated by us and I’m sure by the students who will be receiving support.”

The Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation is an organization dedicated to empowering Hawaiian communities by supporting programs that improve access to opportunities for success principally serving Native Hawaiians primarily through education and cultural practices to inspire hope, strengthen families, foster learning, cultivate leadership, and develop stewardship.

“We cannot overstate your contribution to the Native Hawaiian community,” said Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation Chairman and Founder Edwin A. (Skip) Vincent, who was speaking to the importance of the partnership between the foundation and UH West Oʻahu.

“Through the UH West Oʻahu’s programs, you continue to provide hope, encouragement, and benefit for thousands,” Vincent said. “We see the results. Your efforts make us stronger and resilient. Thank you for the honorable work that you all do. We are all in this together.”

UH West Oʻahu has benefitted from Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation’s generosity in the past, with one of the foundation’s most recent gifts totaling $28,000 to help support and expand UH West Oʻahu’s Educational Pathway program, which takes a grow-your-own approach to solving a teacher shortage in Leeward Oʻahu and the Waiʻanae Coast. The program’s goals include increasing the number of students from West Oʻahu entering the field of education and increasing the number of UH West Oʻahu graduates teaching at area schools.

The foundationʻs gift to the UH West Oʻahu Student Aid Fund is part of its continued commitment to invest in and care for youth and young adults to become productive contributors in our communities.

“So many students are impacted by the COVID-19 virus, whether it be the need for technology to enable online learning, reduced incomes from layoffs or reduced work hours, or even behavioral health issues such as depression,” said Hawaiʻi Pacific Foundation President Jory Scoville. “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we are truly honored and humbled to assist your students – our future leaders, teachers, and mentors – in this extraordinary and challenging time to continue their educational journeys.”

Students should not have to make the difficult choice between their education or providing for living necessities, Scoville added.

“We all benefit from their successes and we support them,” Scoville said.

To make a gift to the UH West Oʻahu Student Aid Fund, visit the UH Foundation website.

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