Maui News

Maui County Federal Credit Union Awards $20,000 in College Scholarships

September 6, 2021, 12:35 PM HST
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Picture from top, left are Abigail Akamine, Karina Bhattacharya, Manuel Castro, Liam Chadli, Stacia Eng, Dylan Falces, Connor Fernandez, Anna Gragas, Sharae Hanchett, Lea Kashiwamura, Megan Koga, Issac Jon Lazo, Kobe Lilio, Shanelle Longboy, Jonathan Merchant, Mindy Montalvo, Dawson Nolasco, Matthew Paden, Avrilyne Quimangan and Kelsie Sparks. Courtesy of Maui County Federal Credit Union.

Maui County Federal Credit Union awarded 20 students with $1,000 scholarships towards their college education, giving out an additional five scholarships this year.

Over the past two decades, Maui County FCU has awarded scholarships totaling $257,000 to students pursuing higher education throughout the County of Maui.

“It has been a challenging year for students, with many families struggling financially,” said Gary Fukuroku, Maui County FCU President/CEO. “Maui County Federal Credit Union is committed to the value of a college education and its support of students in their endeavor to further their education and achieve their dreams.”

This year’s scholarship recipients consist of 12 incoming college freshmen, six returning undergraduates two attending graduate school. Fields of study range from medicine and education to business management and engineering. Maui County FCU 2021 scholarship recipients are:

  • Abigail Akamine, Ohio Northern University
  • Karina Bhattacharya, University of Houston
  • Manuel Castro, St Martin’s University
  • Liam Chadli, Grand Canyon University 
  • Stacia Eng, University of Oregon
  • Dylan Falces, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • Connor Fernandez, Northern Arizona University
  • Anna Gragas, Chapman University
  • Sharae Hanchett, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College
  • Lea Kashiwamura, Grand Canyon University
  • Megan Koga, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • Issac Jon Lazo, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • Kobe Lilio, George Fox University
  • Shanelle Longboy, University of Hawaii West O‘ahu
  • Jonathan Merchant, Carleton College
  • Mindy Montalvo, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • Dawson Nolasco, Scottsdale Community College
  • Matthew Paden, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College
  • Avrilyne Quimangan, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College
  • Kelsie Sparks, Colorado State University

Anna Gragas, a King Kekaulike High School alumna, said, “After obtaining my bachelor’s degree from Chapman University in Southern California, I returned home to Maui to work as a scribe in the ER, where I realized that I wanted to pursue medicine. For me, medicine combines my interests in science and the human body with the ability to help people of our community. I am now a second-year medical student on O‘ahu at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and am interested in emergency medicine or OB-GYN. I intend to practice in Hawaii after completing my residency training and cannot wait to give back to the community that helped me get to where I am today.”

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Connor Fernandez, a Haleakalā Waldorf High School alumnus, is working towards obtaining a degree in hotel and restaurant management at Northern Arizona University and shared what his college education means to him. “I will be able to jumpstart my career in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to if I weren’t to have attended a university,” he said. “I think it is important that I have a platform to start my life, and I believe that a degree, along with the confidence and connections college has given me will do just that.”

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Issac Jon Lazo, a Maui High School alumnus, is pursuing a degree in human development and family resources at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and shares that he “plans on becoming a child and family counselor. By doing so, I hope to provide the youth of my community with a vision of a brighter and healthier pathway in life. Therefore, producing stronger citizens of Hawaiʻi.”

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