Without question, academic scholarships make many college dreams come true. Apart from helping make higher education possible for those who can’t afford to pay out of pocket, scholarships can help college grads avoid the stress of entering the real world with a pile of student debt.
Simply put, scholarships are an educational lifeline. Just ask the hundreds of students from Maui, Lanai and Molokai who are now pursuing degrees at colleges and universities across the country with the help of the scholarships they’ve received from the Realtors Association of Maui Community Foundation (RAMCF) Presidential Scholarship Fund.
Since its inception in 1989, the RAMCF Presidential Scholarship Fund has awarded $854,000 in academic scholarships to college-bound high school seniors and past scholarship recipients who can apply every year they are in school up to four years. Over the years, funds for the annual scholarships have been raised through Mea Kako‘o, a group of sponsors who collectively donate money to the program, and events like the Maui Visitor Industry Charity Walk, RAM’s Got Talent event, RAMCF Presidential Scholarship Golf Event, and RAM’s annual installation and membership gala. In 2020, when in-person fundraising events had to be canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, RAM members voluntarily donated a portion of their closed transactions to RAMCF.
“A lot of these agents are consistently giving back to the community—if it’s not the RAM Community Foundation, it’s their own personal charity they love and support,” said 2020-21 RAM President Joe Hogin. “I’m thankful that I work with a group of professionals that truly cares about the community.”
This year, RAM awarded $1,000 scholarships to 42 students. Among them is Hunter Worth, a four-time recipient of the RAMCF Presidential Scholarship. The 2018 Kamehameha Schools Maui graduate is currently studying neuroscience at Princeton University. “I feel blessed and am thankful to have the support of my lāhui,” he said. “Since I’m attending school so far away from Hawaii, it’s encouraging to have the support of my roots.”
Like Worth, Lauryn Ige is a past recipient of the scholarship. This fall, the 2020 Baldwin High School graduate will start her sophomore year at Santa Clara University, where she is double-majoring in communication and psychology and minoring in creative writing. “It is a complete honor to be one of this year’s scholarship recipients,” she said. “I am so grateful to have been chosen and receive some financial help.”
To the members of RAM, Ige says, “Thank you so much for this assistance in pursuing my education, which means so much to me. I am so enthusiastic and thrilled to be awarded this scholarship.”
Worth also expressed his gratitude to the membership. “I’d like to mahalo the members of the Realtors Association of Maui for their generosity and continued support during my college career,” he said. “I look forward to serving my community after graduation in whatever capacity that may be.”
Applications for next year’s RAMCF Presidential Scholarship will be available in early 2022. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be a high school senior or a former recipient of the scholarship (from the previous three years) and must be in the process of applying or reapplying to an accredited college or university or trade school. Applicants must also be full-time Maui County residents who are currently attending—or have previously attended—a public or private high school in Maui County; however, students attending private high schools off island will be considered residents of Maui County if they are living off island for the specific purpose of attending that private high school. Current GED participants are also encouraged to apply.
For more information about the RAMCF Presidential Scholarship Fund, visit www.ramaui.com/foundation.
The Maui News – August 9, 2021