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 membership committee, as well as 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 the Boomvangers Scholarship program. Every year, the Boomvangers award scholarships to graduating high school seniors and “perpetual” students who are currently attending college or a trade school.

This year, Powers and her fellow committee members awarded eight scholarships totaling $6,000. The recipients included four graduating high school seniors: Hailey Bogar from Lahainaluna High School, Ryli Cherry from Lahainaluna High School, Eddy Mar from Lahainaluna High School and Ava Merrill from Maui Preparatory Academy. This fall, both Bogar and Cherry will head to Northern Arizona University, where they plan to study hospitality. Mar will pursue a degree in engineering at the University of Nevada and Merrill will study economics at Brigham Young University. The committee also awarded perpetual scholarships to Lahainaluna High School alumna Stacia Eng, who is studying business and accounting at Washington State University; Maui Preparatory Academy alumna Sophia Johnston, who is studying finance and entrepreneurship at the University of San Diego; Seabury Hall alumna Darby Mulligan, who is studying business and leadership at the University of Puget Sound; and Seabury Hall alumnus Kai Ponting, who is studying aerospace engineering at California Polytechnic State University.

Like the Boomvangers, Jerman awards annual scholarships to Maui County students through the Josh and Souk Jerman Foundation Scholarship program. For the past 17 years, Jerman and his wife, Souksamlane, 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 $50,000 in scholarships to Maui, Molokai and Lanai students who plan to return to Maui County after college to contribute to the community.

The recipients of the 2020 Josh and Souk Jerman Foundation Scholarship are Romelyn Tabangcura from Maui High School, Griffin Hardy from King Kekaulike High School and Tiana Irvine from Kamehameha Schools Maui. In the fall, Tabangcura will attend UH Maui College with plans to transfer to UH Manoa, where she will pursue a nursing degree. Hardy will attend Tufts University, where he plans to study international relations. Irvine will be studying hospitality and tourism at UH Maui College.

Both Jerman and Powers will offer another round of scholarships in 2021. To be eligible for the 2021 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; academic transcripts, accomplishments, financial need 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

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