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New Scholarship Supports Maui Sugar Mill Workers

November 14, 2016, 12:44 PM HST (Updated November 14, 2016, 12:48 PM) · 1 Comment
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Puʻunēnē Sugar Mill. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Puʻunēnē Sugar Mill. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation today announced a new scholarship fund specifically designed to support the Maui sugar industry workers and their children amid the impending closure of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, Hawaiʻi’s last remaining sugar mill.

The Rapozo Scholarship Fund for Maui Sugar Industry Workers was established by Wayne James Rapozo de Costa of London, United Kingdom and the Rapozo Kamaʻāina Fund, a family donor advised fund administered by HCF.

“My extended family and I wanted to send a message of appreciation to the Maui workers who are running Hawaiʻi’s last harvest and to recognize them for their good work, sense of stewardship and dedication over the years,” said Mr. Rapozo. “I have the utmost confidence in them and their children as they enter the next chapter of their lives following the last harvest, and this scholarship is a small way to send them our aloha.”

Rapozo was born and raised on Kauaʻi and spent much of his childhood with his grandparents on the Gay and Robinson sugar plantation. His grandfather George Rapozo was one of the last traditional lunas (field managers) on Kauaʻi. Rapozo currently lives and works as an international corporate attorney in London and is an acclaimed collector of old master and modern works of art.

To be eligible to apply for the Rapozo Scholarship Fund for Maui Sugar Industry Workers, students must be an employee of a company that was primarily engaged in the growing and harvesting of sugar on Maui during 2015 and 2016 or be a child of such an employee. Applicants will be asked to address this point in an essay submitted with the application.

Students need to simply fill out one online application and to be matched with multiple scholarships, including the Rapozo Scholarship Fund. HCF has more than 200 scholarships and awards more than $4.5 million each year to students across the state.

The deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 at 4 p.m. HST. Please visit For more information on required supporting materials that are needed for applications, visit the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation website.

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“As the sugar industry on Maui comes to a close, we would like to thank Mr. Rapozo and his family for their generosity in providing this scholarship to honor the dedicated sugar workers on the island,” said Deborah Rice, senior philanthropic services officer on Maui for the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. “The Rapozo scholarship will touch the lives of many sugar workers and their children during challenging times.”

Applicants will be notified between April and July if they have been selected to receive a scholarship.

As the third largest provider of scholarships in the state, HCF offers thousands of opportunities for students to receive scholarships to assist in their dreams of receiving a post-secondary education. HCF has been distributing scholarships for students for more than 80 years.

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