About half a decade ago, the Pacific Islander Access project formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation focused on increasing higher education access for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders ("Pacific Islanders"). For most of our time, especially in the beginning, our focus was on educating people about the exclusion of Pacific Islanders from underrepresented minority programs, and persuading those programs to change their policies. In our first three years, we persuaded 13 scholarships and fellowships to change their policies, which amounted to over $1.1 million in additional financial aide now available to Pacific Islanders. At that point, our sample of underrepresented minority programs suggested that inclusion of PIs -- once the exception -- appears to be becoming the norm.
Seeing that evolution, we realized that our energy needed to shift as well, and focus equally on raising awareness among Pacific Islanders about the underrepresented minority scholarships and fellowships that they are now eligible for. The main product we wanted to produce to do this was a simple e-booklet.
It is with pride and pleasure that we are announcing the publication of that booklet, which we are attaching to this post. It includes:
- A description of the Pacific Islander Access project,
- Information on Underrepresented Minority Scholarships and Fellowships that are open to Pacific Islanders,
- Information on those URMSFs that are still not open to PIs, and
- Some suggestions for those PIs who want to contact the scholarships that still ignore the underrepresentation of PIs.
I want to thank the board and our volunteers who helped develop the booklet. It would not have been possible without them, especially Karin Karpin and Lorinda Riley. Please take a look and share your thoughts with us. And especially -- share the information with others!
Click here to see the e-booklet: link
Mahalo nui loa,