Maui News

College student from Maui awarded scholarship for Native Hawaiians studying STEM

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Maui’s Bryan Pontanilla was recognized as one of eight Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship recipients at a luncheon Wednesday in Honolulu. Pontanilla is a graduate of Maui High School and is now attending Portland State University majoring in architecture.

He was selected as one of eight Native Hawaiians studying STEM in college to receive $1,000 per year until graduation. This scholarship is the only one of its kind, and since its inception, Paubox has awarded $39,000 to more than 20 recipients. 

Bryan Pontanilla.

Paubox, a HIPAA compliant email company, recognized the Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship recipients at their third annual networking event. 

The scholarship was created in 2019 to encourage Native Hawaiian students to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) by providing $1,000 each year until graduation. This year there were eight new students who received funding. Over the past four years, Paubox has awarded $39,000 to students.


“We know the big ideas behind the scholarship are financial aid and access,” said Paubox founder and CEO Hoala Greevy in a news release. “Big ideas are trends that do not change over time. In other words, our scholarship recipients will always have a need for financial assistance and access to our professional network. We therefore know it’s perpetually a good use of time and resources to focus on these big ideas.”

Wendesday’s event included 30 attendees and was an opportunity for new and existing scholarship recipients to build professional connections with each other and the Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship advisor network. 

Some of the advisors in attendance were Ben Ancheta of Inkinen Associates, Lori Bonner of The Queen’s Health System, Mari-Ela Chock of W.M. Keck Observatory, Siana Austin Hunt of Altres, Cathy Luke of Loyalty Enterprises, Ryan Ozawa of Hawaiʻi Hui LLC, Billy V of Hawaii News Now, and Adam Wong of ACW Ventures.


Applications for the 2023 Paubox Kahikina Scholarship will be available starting Jan. 1, 2023. For more information, click here. Essays, letters of recommendation and transcript will be due by May 31, 2023.


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