Joshua Parker, myself, Kawehi Cabuzel, Alyssa Lyman, and Micah Kane
Now in its third year, the Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship has 13 active recipients.
As a recap, the primary objective of the Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship is to encourage Native Hawaiians to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
The scholarship is recurring in nature. In other words, recipients receive $1,000 per year until they graduate (5 year maximum). With students now on winter break, I sent them an invite to have lunch with me today at The Pacific Club.
We did something similar last year, where two recipients joined me (Nick Wong and Alyssa Lyman). One of my primary takeaways from that lunch was our recipients’ desire to build a professional network.
In response, earlier this year we created an informal advisor network for the Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship. I sent the same invite to them, of which eight also made it.
In essence, today was a winter networking lunch between the recipients and advisors of the Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship.
In all, here are the scholarship recipients that joined (in-person or Zoom):
- Alyssa Lyman (Purdue University)
- Gabriella Kanoa (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
- Joshua Parker (Harvard University)
- Kawehi Cabuzel (University of Southern California)
- Kobe Lilio (George Fox University)
- Lauren Kwee (Harvard University)
- Nick Wong (UC Berkeley)
Here are the scholarship advisors that joined (in-person or Zoom):
- Alana Higa
- Eric Nakagawa
- George Lee
- John Aeto (and his granddaughter)
- Micah Kane
- Ryan Ozawa
- Siana Austin Hunt
- Will Reppun
Here are my takeaways from today’s networking lunch.
Going around the room, recipients were asked to introduce themselves and share with the group how the scholarship and its advisor network can help them.
Invariably, the most requested need was getting help securing an internship for the upcoming summer. Most recipients were looking to do an internship in Hawaii, with a few being open to opportunities on the mainland. Fields of interest ranged from physics, software engineering, cybersecurity, and working at a startup.
Building a Professional Network
Recipients and advisors joined from Hawaii, California, and New York
As a segue from internships, building a professional network was also frequently mentioned. I was delighted to learn today that our informal advisor network was equally (if not more) excited to help.
As a simple step in that direction, I shared with everyone a Google Sheet (with edit permissions) with contact info of all recipients and advisors.
I was impressed by how well mannered, respectful, and intelligent our recipients are.
I don’t have a strong network of Native Hawaiians in medicine. The same is true for electrical and mechanical engineering. I will continue to expand the network.
Mahalo nui loa to Siana Austin Hunt, who purchased Hala lei for each of the recipients today (as well as me). Siana also sits on our Board of Directors at Paubox.
Also a big mahalo to Kirra Downing and Cody from DTL, who conducted interviews and provided broll footage.