Students receive Kapaia Foundation Scholarship

LIHU‘E — The Kapaia Foundation announced earlier this month the selection of Mason Manera of Kaua‘i High School and Rachel Meek of Kapa’a High School as recipients of the 2012 Kapaia Foundation Scholarship award.

The Kapaia Foundation Scholarship was created to recognize the dreams of our sugar plantation era immigrant forefathers for the success of their descendants, states a news release.

Mason Manera is the son of Max and Adele Manera. His grandfather, Mariano Sr., came to Kaua’i on the S.S. Maunawili in 1946, searching for a better life.

“Mariano Sr. would be proud to see his grandson graduate from high school and achieve his dream of becoming an engineer,” the release states.

A 3.7 GPA scholar athlete at Kaua‘i High School, Mason Manera is a member of the basketball team and captain of the football and track team. He is also involved in many volunteer activities, including helping with Kaua‘i Special Olympics, Kaua‘i Humane Society and Lihu‘e United Church Labor Day Breakfast.

Manera has been accepted to Oregon Institute of Technology and Northern Arizona University.

Rachel Meek is the daughter of Charles and Carol Meek of Kilauea. She is a descendant of Portuguese immigrants to Hawai‘i. She met her great-grandparents, Lucy and Slim Robello, in the book “Hanahana: An Oral History Anthology of Hawai‘i’s Working People.”

Meek mentors elementary students in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, plans bonding activities as co-captain of her varsity swim team, is a small group leader with Crossover Youth Group and is a Kapa‘a Elementary School homework tutor.

From Lucy and Slim, an electrician with the plantation, Meek learned about hard work. She has a busy schedule, managing to keep up with advance placement classes, participate in varsity swimming, robotics, batball, Kaua‘i Performing Arts, as well as work at Shave Ice Paradise.

Meek’s diligence is rewarded with being named a scholar athlete for four years, receiving the President’s Award for Educational Excellence in 2010 and being recognized as a National Merit Commended Student in 2011.

Meek graduated from Kapa’a High School with a 4.024 GPA and plans to study Japanese at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.       

Kapaia Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and promote the rich history of Kapaia Valley.

When sugar was king, 600 people lived in Kapaia. The immigrant laborer’s work ethic set the foundation for success enjoyed by their children, grandchildren and generations thereafter.

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