The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation donates $90,000

Support for Kapi‘olani CC Lunalilo Scholars

Kapiʻolani Community College
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Dir of Communications
Posted: Jan 26, 2016

Robert Fujioka, John Tsui, Catherine Ching, and Kenneth Okamoto
Robert Fujioka, John Tsui, Catherine Ching, and Kenneth Okamoto

HONOLULU – The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation has granted $90,000 to fund scholarships for students who have completed their first year in the Lunalilo Scholars Program at Kapi‘olani Community College. Their goal is to encourage students to participate in the peer mentor component of the program, and nurture the cycle of learning and giving back.

Cathy Ching, granddaughter of Clarence T.C. Ching and trustee of The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation said, “The grant to the Lunalilo Scholars Program fulfills the mission of the Foundation to provide scholarship aid and assistance to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity for a quality education.” Ching continued, “The Foundation is proud be a part of the innovative Lunalilo Scholars Program that recognizes the benefits of mentoring for both returning students as mentors, and for the first year student mentees.”

Launched in 2012, the Lunalilo Scholars Program provides financially at-risk students with one-year of tuition combined with an intensive support system, mentoring, and tutoring to help them overcome personal and academic challenges in their first year of college.

“The peer mentoring component of the Lunalilo Scholars Program benefits the new scholars by giving them access to role models that are invested in the program and want to see them succeed. It is also beneficial for those doing the mentoring,” said Director of the Lunalilo Scholars Program LaVache Scanlan. Scanlan continued, “So many students have to work at least part-time just to make ends meet. The opportunity to be a peer mentor not only provides the financial assistance and flexible schedule needed to be a successful student, it teaches valuable leadership skills and provides work experience. Studies show that programs that keep students on campus expose them to more faculty and staff that can support them and help them graduate.”

Kapi‘olani Community College Chancellor Leon Richards added, “This generous gift from The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation will provide our scholars with the financial support they need to continue on their academic journeys after they complete that critical first year.” He continued, “Many of our Lunalilo Scholars have done extremely well in their first year, frequently against the odds. This scholarship represents essential financial support and emotional encouragement. It tells them that important organizations like The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation believe in them and want to see them fulfill their dreams.”

This gift was spurred by the Kaneta Foundation’s $1 million matching gift challenge in support of the Lunalilo Scholars program. To date $123,450 has been raised to meet the matching challenge.

University of Hawai‘i Foundation President and CEO Donna Vuchinich shared why this program and matching gift opportunity is important. “Donors like the Kanetas and The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation play a key role in eliminating the educational inequality that exists across our state by bringing programs and support services to our most vulnerable students who want to create a better life for themselves and their families.” Vuchinich continued, “These programs eliminate the barriers to higher education, and help the University of Hawai‘i create a more educated citizenship. This is a critical component to ensuring a healthy Hawai‘i now and in the future.” Vuchinich concluded.


Learn more about how you can support the Lunalilo Scholars Program by contacting Senior Director of Development Linh Hoang Poe at (808) 734-9570 or

The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.

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