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It goes without saying that academic scholarships can make the dream of college a reality for many students. Not only do scholarships help make higher education possible for those who can’t afford to pay out of pocket, but they can also spare college graduates the stress of beginning their professional lives with a heavy load of student debt. Simply put, scholarship programs extend a financial lifeline. Just ask the students who are now pursuing degrees at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. with the help of the scholarships they received from members of the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM).

Lori Powers of Island Sotheby’s International Realty and Josh Jerman of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers are among the many RAM members who support college-bound students every year.

Powers is a member of the Lahaina Yacht Club and serves on its Boomvangers Scholarship committee. (For the nautically uninitiated, a “boom vang” is a line or piston system on a sailboat that controls the shape of the sail.) As the auxiliary of the Lahaina Yacht Club, the Boomvangers host special events, organize community service projects and raise money for scholarships for graduating high school seniors and “perpetual” students who are currently attending college or a trade school.

This year, the Lahaina Yacht Club Boomvangers and the Maui Community Sailing Foundation awarded scholarships to Noelle Sheveland and Ava Merrill, both graduates of Maui Preparatory Academy.

Sheveland received a $2,000 scholarship. This fall, she will head to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she plans to major in fine arts. Merrill received a $1,000 perpetual scholarship. She is currently studying economics at Brigham Young University.

Like the Boomvangers, Jerman awards annual scholarships to Maui County students through the Josh and Souk Jerman Foundation Scholarship program. For the past 18 years, Jerman and his wife, Souk, also with Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, have given $1,000 tuition scholarships to high school seniors who plan to attend an accredited four-year college or university. To date, the program has awarded more than $55,000 in scholarships to Maui, Molokai and Lanai students who plan to return to Maui County after college to contribute to the community.

Jerman typically awards three scholarships to three students every year. But this year was different. “This past year was challenging in so many ways for students, yet they showed resilience in the face of adversity,” he said. “We received an abundance of qualified applications and decided to give five $1,000 scholarships this year. We wish the recipients the best of luck in the coming school year and are excited for them to carry out their future goal of contributing to Maui Nui.”

The five recipients of the 2021 Josh and Souk Jerman Foundation Scholarship are Alexis Asato from Baldwin High School, Owali Moeai from Hana High School, Maile Laporga from Lanai High School, Tristen Kaula‘uila Matsuura from Seabury Hall, and Mallory Go from Molokai High School.

In the fall, Asato will attend Whitworth College with plans to major in music. Moeai will attend Brigham Young University-Hawaii, where he will study computer science. Laporga will be studying graphic design at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Matsuura is heading off to Santa Clara University with his sights set on a political science/pre-law degree. Go will attend Brown University, where she plans to major in public health.

Both Powers and Jerman encourage students to apply for their respective scholarships in 2022. To be eligible for the Josh and Souk Jerman Foundation Scholarship, an applicant must be a high school senior and resident of Maui County, be enrolled in a full-time program at an accredited four-year college or university for the 2021-22 academic year, demonstrate financial need and plan to return to Maui County after earning their degree. To be eligible for the Lahaina Yacht Club Boomvangers Scholarship, applicants must plan to attend a four-year college or university, community college or accredited trade school and must complete and submit an application form. Students’ grades, accomplishments, financial need, a personal statement and letters of recommendation are all considered.

To learn more about the Josh and Souk Jerman Foundation Scholarship program, visit For more information about the Lahaina Yacht Club Boomvangers Scholarship program, visit

The Maui News – June 21, 2021

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