HONOLULU (Aug. 15, 2016) — Teach For America–Hawai‘i has announced today that two Hawai‘i students have earned scholarship funds from Teach For America’s Native Alliance Initiative (NAI).
From a diverse and competitive applicant pool, Chloe-Marie Stamm-Calotis, a graduate of Nānākuli High School, received the $1,000 NAI Scholarship Award. A 3.9 GPA student, Stamm-Calotis participated in National Honor Society, student council, and Anatomia. She will attend Grand Canyon University this fall to earn a bachelor of science in nursing, becoming the first member of her family to attend college. Russell Kiyono, Jr., a 2016 graduate of Wai‘anae High School, will receive the $450 Finalist Award. He will attend the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa this year and plans to major in mechanical engineering.
The Native Alliance Scholarship Fund at Teach For America recognizes at least one college-bound high school senior each year who has demonstrated grit, integrity, and exemplary leadership. The award helps offset the rising cost of books, clothing, and other supplies – necessities that can feel like luxuries – and ease the transition to campus life. It is funded entirely by small donations.
“I am incredibly honored and grateful to be receiving this scholarship,” said Chloe-Marie Stamm-Calotis. “I know I can accomplish great things by attending college, but it was always a concern of how I would pay for it. With the help of this scholarship, my financial burden is reduced. The Native Alliance Initiative Scholarship is helping me do much more than just attend college: it is helping me follow my dreams and create a better life for myself. Through this scholarship, I am able to further my education and fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a neonatal nurse.”
“The Native Alliance Initiative is incredibly proud of both Chloe-Marie and Russell,” said Robert Cook, Senior Managing Director of the NAI. “Given that many of our students in Native communities already face a wide range of adversity, our hope is that this scholarship will help to offset some of the financial burden of transitioning to college. The NAI is committed to supporting future leaders like Chloe-Marie and Russell as they become advocates for Native communities.”
Teach For America launched the NAI in 2010 to deepen its partnerships in states with significant Native student populations—communities that have been severely impacted by educational inequity. The NAI works hand-in-hand with tribes and Native communities to expand educational opportunities for their students. The initiative was created to support and provide corps members with more strategies for incorporating tribal and community culture into the classroom, recruit more Native leaders to the teaching profession, and develop a critical pipeline of leaders committed to advocating for Native communities and children.
Since it was founded in 2006, Teach For America-Hawai‘i has recruited and developed 47 Native Hawaiian or American Indian teachers to work in local public schools. In 2014, NAI team members visited Hawai‘i to learn about the state’s unique cultural context and to conduct strategic planning. Retreat participants joined Teach For America teachers’ classes from Nānākuli High School and Maili Elementary for a morning field trip at Waikalua Loko Fishpond in Kāne‘ohe. The experiences at the pond were designed to demonstrate to both students and national partners how ancient Hawaiian practices continue to be relevant and critical in our 21st century context.
Teach For America–Hawai‘i works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 2006 on O‘ahu and 2009 on Hawai‘i Island, Teach For America–Hawai‘i recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Our broader mission is to enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation’s most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence. As Teach For America–Hawai‘i marks its 10th anniversary, the organization has had a profound impact in the islands by recruiting and developing more than 650 teachers over the last decade, many of whom are working across career sectors—including education, law, business, medicine, and government—to improve the opportunities of young people and fight for educational equity.
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, 8,600 corps members are teaching in 53 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 42,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.