HHA Scholarship Supports High School Seniors

Photo by Jack Kiyonaga

Two Molokai high school seniors are $1,000 closer to their future educational goals.

The Ho’olehua Homesteaders Associations (HHA) scholarship fundraiser celebrated scholarship recipients Ohi’aku Makaila’olu Ritte Camara Tangonan and Kamalua Arce at their fundraiser last Friday.

Established back in the 1980s by Evangeline Bush and the late Winona Kaawa, the HHA’s scholarships are intended for any high school senior who lives in the Ho’olehua area code for post-high school studies.

The scholarship fundraiser likewise recognized Bush, Kaawa and current DHHL Commissioner Zachary Helm “for all the hana done for our homesteaders,” explained HHA Treasurer Lu Ann Faborito.

Homesteading can be financially difficult, explained Faborito.

“You have to have the capacity, and all the resources,” she explained. Much of the funding for small, homestead farms comes from grants. Organizations like HHA, with over 20 families and 80 members, can apply for these grants and then disperse funding throughout its constituents, explained Faborito.

One of the surprises for the scholarship recipients was a doubling of the scholarship amount awarded to them. Initially $500 each, Luana Alapa’s new organization Ho’ohana Molokai was able to match the original amount. Alapa likewise presented the HHA with a $20,000 check courtesy of Ho’ohana Molokai.

“There’s more to come,” said Alapa.

Ho’ohana Molokai is looking at aiding “those who have been unfortunate,” explained Alapa, especially Native Hawaiians who are struggling with housing, financial stability and mental health.

The loss of Alapa’s son to suicide five months ago has spurred on her mission for Ho’ohana Molokai.

“It’s so sad to see so many of our young Hawaiian men taking their lives, to not have any hope in their lives,” said Alapa. “We need to turn that mentality around.”

The donation to HHA is intended for kupuna home repairs, according to Alapa.

Alapa also explained that she plans on continuing to support Molokai organizations through Ho’ohana Molokai.

“I have $100,000 to give away for Molokai,” said Alapa.

The goal is to give Molokai organizations quick access to funding.

“People need the money like yesterday,” said Alapa. “Hopefully we can see some really good, positive changes in the coming months.”


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