UH Hilo announces 2015 Dorrance Scholars

Hilo sealThe ten Hawai‘i Island students are the first in their families to attend college. 

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo announced today that 10 students from Hawai‘i Island who will start as freshmen in the fall have been selected as 2015 Dorrance Scholarship recipients. The Dorrance Scholarship is a four-year award for local students who are the first in their families to attend college. The students will receive $10,000 per year to attend UH Hilo.

“Providing more scholarships is key to expanding educational opportunities so that more students can attend college,” says Chancellor Don Straney.

The 2015 Dorrance Scholarship recipients are:

  • Brandon Aguiar, Waiakea High School (Hilo)
  • Sharlene Bala, Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School (Honoka‘a)
  • Maggie Chen, Kealakehe High School (Kailua- Kona)
  • Everette Ganir, Kea‘au High School (Kea‘au)
  • Marc Daniel Grande, Kealakehe High School (Kailua- Kona)
  • Courtney Ip, Waiakea High School (Hilo)
  • Maya Kottwitz, Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Science (Pahoa)
  • Marina Merkulova, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School (Laupahoehoe)
  • Shaniah Yogi, Kamehameha High Schools Hawai’i (Kea‘au)
  • Adrianna Zablan, Kanu o ka ʻĀina Learning ʻOhana, New Century Public Charter School (Kamuela)
2014 Dorrance scholar Ishael Shaw-De Mello at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, Korea. Courtesy photo.
2014 Dorrance scholar Ishael Shaw-De Mello at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, Korea, last fall. Ishael was the first Dorrance Scholar to study abroad. Courtesy photo.

In addition to the direct financial assistance, the cohort will take part in a custom-designed summer bridge program to help transition from high school to college. In subsequent years, the students will take part in international travel, conservation experiences, an entrepreneurship program, and employment preparation, bringing the total estimated value of each award for the entire four-year period to more than $90,000.

UH Hilo’s program is an extension of the highly successful Dorrance Scholarship Programs that have operated in Arizona for the past 15 years. The program is credited with opening the doors of higher education while boosting graduation rates for 390 first-generation college students since its inception.

The Dorrance Merit Scholarship was established by Bennett and Jacquie Dorrance at the Arizona Community Foundation in June of 1999. The original gift supported 10 Arizona public university students. Twelve years later, the Dorrance Family Foundation sustains four distinct scholarship programs. What is now known as the Dorrance Scholarship Programs supports as many as 150 recipients at Arizona’s three public universities and at South Mountain Community College. The generosity and foresight of the Dorrances have made the scholarship one of the most influential, privately-funded educational initiatives in the state. The Dorrances’ scholarship is a model for educational philanthropy and is a signature program at the Arizona Community Foundation. In 2012, scholarships were offered to Big Island high school graduates who will attend the University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo.

-Adapted from Media release