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Napili Kai Foundation awards $36,000 in scholarships

The Napili Kai Foundation awarded $36,000 in higher education scholarships to 11 foundation graduates, Lahainaluna graduates, Napili Kai Beach Resort employee children and alumni during a ceremony May 21.

The recipients:

• Joanna Marie Acosta, a seven-year member of the foundation and a 2019 Lahainaluna graduate, will be attending University of Nevada, Las Vegas, majoring in accounting, and received $3,000.

• Briana Bandy, a seven-year member of the foundation, an employee child, and a 2019 Lahainaluna graduate, will be attending Arizona State University, majoring in secondary education and English, and received $4,000.

• Samantha Marie Calma, a six-year member of the foundation and a 2019 Lahainaluna graduate, will be attending UH Maui College, majoring in nursing, and received $2,500.

• Kylie S. Ines, an 11-year member of the foundation and a 2019 Lahainaluna graduate, will be attending Washington State University, majoring in forensic science/education/business, and received $4,000.

• Lauryn Laborte, a 12-year member of the foundation and a 2019 Lahainaluna graduate, will be attending UH Maui College, majoring in psychology, and received $3,000.

• Jaela P. Naha, a 12-year member of the foundation and a 2019 Lahainaluna graduate, will be attending UH Maui College, majoring in nursing, and received $3,000.

• Taylor A. Panlasigui, a seven-year member of the foundation and a 2018 Lahainaluna graduate, will be returning to Portland Community College, focusing on a general associate degree, and received $2,000.

• Linsay Mae Peralta, an employee child and a 2018 Lahainaluna graduate, will be returning to Chamberlain School of Nursing, focusing on a bachelor degree in nursing, and received $3,000.

• Courtney L Ruidas, a nine-year member of the foundation and a 2016 Lahainaluna graduate, will be returning to Portland State University, focusing on a bachelor degree in aging services, and received $2,500.

• Tori Kaimana Tihada, a 10-year member of the foundation and a 2018 Lahainaluna graduate, will be returning to University of Nevada, Las Vegas, majoring in hospitality management, and received $4,000.

• Leah G. Werblun, a nine-year member of the foundation and a 2018 Lahainaluna graduate, will be returning to University of Northern Colorado, majoring in biology/pre-med, and received $5,000.

The Napili Kai Foundation, now 53 years old, is the longest running weekly keiki hula show in Hawaii. The foundation offers its cultural program, free of charge, to the children of West Maui. Membership now spans generations and averages 35 with a travel troupe of 15. The keiki are taught by renown Kumu Hula Kathy Ralar, along with Kumu Kalei Jaramillo and Kumu Rance Villarimo and perform a weekly show at the Napili Kai Beach Resort.

In 1986, the scope of the foundation was expanded by the establishment of its unique scholarship fund which has distributed over $200,000 in higher education scholarships to graduating keiki to help them achieve their educational and career goals.

The scholarships are funded by the J.C. Millar Scholarship Fund, Bert and Barbara Stubblefield Scholarship Fund, Perna-Rose Foundation for Hope, Felts Family Foundation, Barbara Bunce Memorial Scholarship Fund, and Dennis Wilkinson Memorial Scholarship Fund.