Big Island students awarded Dorrance Scholarships

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642
Director, Media Relations, University Relations, UH Hilo
Posted: Jun 13, 2012

Ten Big Island students have become the first beneficiaries of a prestigious new scholarship program made possible by a groundbreaking partnership launched earlier this year between the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and the Dorrance Family Foundation.
The Dorrance Scholarship is an innovative, four-year award designed to benefit local students who are the first in their family to attend college. Each year, up to 10 eligible students will be awarded need-based scholarships of $8,000 per year to attend UH Hilo. Awards are renewable for a total of eight semesters of funding, and additional cohorts of scholars will be added in subsequent years.
“A college education can totally change the course of a young person’s life,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney. “Thanks to the generosity of the Dorrance Family Foundation, these students will have the opportunity to do what no one in their families has done before and achieve the goal of earning a college degree.”
Prior to their freshman year, Dorrance Scholars will participate in a custom-designed summer bridge program to help them transition from high school to college. In future summers, scholars will take part in international travel and employment preparation, bringing the estimated total value of each award to over $60,000 for the entire four-year period
“This is more than just a scholarship,” noted Luoluo Hong, UH Hilo vice chancellor for student affairs. “With the help of the Dorrance Family Foundation, we are taking all of what we know in terms of best practices and applying it to helping these students be successful and graduate from college.”
The Dorrance Scholarship addresses a critical need at UH Hilo, where some 70 percent of its 4,000+ students are the first in their family to attend college. At the same time, seven out of every 10 students depend on financial aid to fund the cost of attending college, which is the highest percentage among the 10 campuses in the UH System. That figure includes nearly 42 percent who qualify for Pell grants, the federal aid reserved for students with the highest financial need.
UH Hilo’s program is an extension of the highly successful Dorrance Scholarship Programs that have operated in Arizona for the past 13 years and have been credited with opening the doors of higher education while boosting graduation rates for more than 400 first-generation college students at the state’s three public universities.
The 2012 Dorrance Scholarship recipients, high schools and their home towns are:
  • Kuliamai Aveiro-Kalaniopio, Kohala High School (Kamuela, Hawaiʻi)
  • Aprille Rose Cariaga, Ka'u High School (Naalehu, Hawaiʻi)
  • Dylan Coffel, Pahoa High School (Pahoa, Hawaiʻi)
  • Tamiah Johnson, Hilo High School (Papaikou, Hawaiʻi)
  • Kaiulani Kamau, Kamehameha Schools (Hilo, Hawaiʻi)
  • Clifford Kow, Jr., Kealakehe High School (Kailua Kona, Hawaiʻi)
  • Kawehi Lopez, Kamehameha Schools (Hilo, Hawaiʻi)
  • Alayna Machacek, Kealakehe High School (Kailua Kona, Hawaiʻi)
  • Ishael Shaw-De Mello, Waiakea High School (Hilo, Hawaiʻi)
  • Edward Torrison, Hilo High School (Hilo, Hawaiʻi)
For more information about how to apply for the Dorrance Scholarship, contact Maria Martin, Hilo Scholarship Coordinator, at or call (808) 557-6343.