More than 200 unemployed residents apply for new UH community college scholarship

More than 200 unemployed residents apply for new UH community college scholarship
Leeward Community College (File) (Source: HNN)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than 200 prospective students applied for a new UH community college scholarship geared for Hawaii residents who lost their job due to COVID-19, program officials said.

The Kulia Scholarship is designed to help those who were recently furloughed or made unemployed, to help them take a UHCC class for free and earn a degree.

According to a 2016 UHERO report, an associate’s degree allows an individual to make an average of $360,000 more over a lifetime of living and working in Hawaii compared to those with a high school diploma.

Luilyn Melendez, one of the recipients, said that the scholarship was her only way to attend school this semester.

“I have not been able to work and money is really tight,” said Melendez, in a statement. “My heart is filled with so much joy and gratitude.”

Natasha Mangrubang used to work at a hotel on the Big Island, and applied for the scholarship “to change the trajectory of my career to better provide as a single parent of three children.”

“I am turning 34 this year and just want to go to school to finally get my life back on track,” said Sundra Williams, who worked for a chiropractor. “Times have been rough and made me realize that I need to make something out of myself so that I am prepared to take charge of my future.”

The scholarship covers the cost of a three credit UH community college class, fees and books. Total value is approximately $500.

To be eligible for a Kūlia Scholarship, recipients must:

  • Be a Hawaiʻi resident
  • Not have attended UH in the last two years
  • Be furloughed or laid off from their full-time job due to COVID-19 impacts

The deadline to apply is August 10.

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