Paia Youth & Cultural Center awards 2 scholarships

Alexander Kent

The Pa’ia Youth & Cultural Center has announced this years recipients of the PYCC Scholarship Fund. In existence since 2005, this year the Campbell Family funded two PYCC scholarships. It is open to any multiyear active member of PYCC who is a high school senior, or has a GED, or is in their first year of college. Each candidate has to submit an application and be personally interviewed.

Alexander Kent was awarded $2,000. Kent is planning to graduate with a degree in professional music. He was homeschooled on Maui and did independent study through all four years of high school. After high school, he was accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston and has completed his first year.

Kent joined PYCC when he was 13 years old. He said he “received so much love and support from the entire staff since day one. I met Laura Civitello who runs the radio station. Laura and I became great friends, and soon after meeting her, I started hosting a radio show every Saturday. PYCC gave me one of the best places to practice doing what I love as an artist. Along with all the DJ experience I was getting, I also learned about photography and music production with Peter Swanzy in the media lab. The entire PYCC community has been like a family to me. It has been one of the most rewarding places to spend time and learn in.”

Makayla Marrs was awarded $1,000. She was also awarded a $2,000 scholarship last year. She completed her first year at Whittier College in California. She graduated from King Kekaulike High School with multiple honors May 2019. She plans on majoring in psychology with an emphasis in art therapy.

Marrs has been a PYCC member since she was 9 years old. “Everyday at the PYCC, in my eyes, was seen as a new adventure awaiting me; and everyday was completely different,” said Marrs. “One day, you would be cooking in the kitchen with Ben for three hours and then hop into the ocean with your friends to cool off from the hard work put into making the day’s lunch. Another day, you could be taken on an outing with Brandon to go to bamboo forest and hike to a beautiful waterfall. This youth center means a great deal to me and I have learned so many life lessons about responsibility and how to respect everyone in a fair and equal fashion, which eventually built me to become a caring and cultured young adult.”

Makayla Marrs

After the quarantine ends, Marrs hopes to return to school and dive deeper into her love for art. 


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