As unemployment rates have reached an all-time high across the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important now than ever that our community supports local families’ pursuit of higher education. If you’re in high school or are a parent with a young adult getting ready for college, it’s never too early to start planning a budget and applying for scholarships.
According to Christina Rivera, college and career counselor at University Laboratory School, the misconception many high school students have is that they won’t be awarded any scholarships. “Don’t be intimidated,” she says. “College is expensive. Any aid will be helpful and it doesn’t hurt to apply.”
There are many scholarships available from various companies and organizations throughout the state, and HMSA’s Kaimana scholarship is one of them.
For the past 16 years, HMSA has invested in the next generation of Hawaii’s leaders through its Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program. The program recognizes Hawaii high school seniors and their schools for excellence in academics, athletics, community service, healthy activities, and sportsmanship. This year, to acknowledge cancellation of many sports due to COVID-19, HMSA adjusted its scholarship application criteria and eliminated playing a sport as a requirement.
Rivera is aware that applying for scholarships may be overwhelming, especially if you’re a newbie to the application process.
Here are Rivera’s helpful tips when applying for scholarships:
1. Apply early and read and follow all instructions carefully.
2. Keep organized with a spreadsheet that includes deadlines, documents needed, information on how to apply for the scholarship, and any contact information you may need.
3. Have someone read and proofread your application essays.
4. And most importantly, apply for as many scholarships as possible.
If you'd like to apply for a Kaimana scholarship, you must be a high school senior graduating from a Hawaii high school in 2021 with a passing GPA. Participation in athletics and/or community service activities are encouraged, but not required. Up to 15 scholarships valued at $5,000 each will be awarded to high school seniors graduating in 2021.
Kaimana scholarship applications must be received by HMSA no later than Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Submit applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit HMSA's Kaimana webpage for details.