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President Linda Arlington and Debbie George with Brianna Halliwell and Nala Foti at Konawaena High School awards assembly in 2016.Sonja Schmitt and Helga Hans with Lauren Villafuerte at Honoka’a High School awards assembly in 2016
AAUW KONA BRANCH ANNOUNCES 2016 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Kona Branch has awarded its 2016 scholarships to three young women from two West Hawaii high schools this year. Each exceptional student will receive a $2,000 scholarship to assist with her future educational goals.
Nala Foti, a graduate of Konawaena High School, plans to study nursing at UH Manoa with a specialty in anesthesiology. Nala has been involved in many activities during high school and has received certificates of excellence in seven classes. She is a competitive paddler who holds three state titles. She was active in the Leo Club, volunteering over 100 hours of community service as well as serving in student government at her school. She also has held several part-time jobs. Nala has overcome many challenges and demonstrated resiliency. Her counselor stated, “I have never had a student who can excel in so many areas with so much poise and positive energy.”
Brianna Halliwell graduated with an Academic Honors Diploma from Konawaena High School and plans to pursue pharmaceutical studies at Berea College in Kentucky. Brianna has been involved in a variety of activities during high school including the National Honor Society, the Leo Club, and community service volunteer events such as IronMan, the Go Green Club, and the Federal Credit Union Board. While taking college courses in high school, she also worked at a coffee farm, as a babytsitter, and at a local restaurant. In spite of personal challenges, she was also able to maintain a high GPA. She is described as a “kind, caring, selfless student who was always willing to lend a hand….a humanitarian.”
Lauren Villafuerte was at the top of her class at Honoka’a High School and plans to study biomedical engineering at Simpson College in Iowa to combine her interests in the medical field and engineering. She has a varied and impressive resume: Senior Class Vice President, Robotics Club, Science Club, National Honor Society, Math League, and Upward Bound. Lauren was also a volunteer at LavaMan, the Lion’s Club, in an elementary school, and other events. She is described as a “hard worker who strives to excel and does what it takes to overcome her challenges to move ahead”.