First Aloha Scholars Recognized

Carol Chang
Wednesday - June 09, 2010
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Waipahu High seniors Rhea Bulong-Mendoza (left) and Asalemo Fruean are the first to receive the Aloha Scholarship Award from (right) Kathy Oshiro and (far right) Brenda Paahana at a May 12 ceremony at the school. Also on stage is Fruean’s little brother Myron Kabwag. Photo by Byron Lee, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Among the many Waipahu High seniors winning scholarships in May were two seniors who stood out as worthy of the newly created Aloha Scholarship.

Established this year by longtime supporters of the school David and Brenda Paahana and Kathy and Yuji Oshiro, the scholarship aids students who may not qualify for other grants.

“Although a high GPA was not a requirement,” explained Kathy Oshiro, “their grades would need to show improvement, and they would also need to demonstrate financial need and submit an essay on an obstacle that they had to overcome in their life, and what they learned from it.”

Winners are Asalemo Fruean, $3,000 to attend St. Francis University in Pennsylvania, and Rhea Bulong-Mendoza, $1,000 to attend University of Nevada.

To raise funds for the newly established award, Paahana and Oshiro organized several springtime events, including the April 2 Aloha Benefit Concert, which also honored former principal Patricia Pederson (left, standing). Photo from Kathy Oshiro.

The two women spent most of spring semester raising funds for the award, such as the April 2 Aloha Benefit Concert that also honored former principal Patricia Pederson. They were fixtures at area stores on weekends selling tickets for it.

“Brenda started the whole thing,“said Oshiro.“She’s such a humble lady who likes to stay out of the limelight, but she does so much.”

A Waipahu High alumna and grandmother of a current student,Paahana and her husband started the fund with their own initial donation.

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