scholarship winners

2021 Scholarship Winners

Watch out world, bright futures ahead!

We received many incredible applications and are grateful to everyone who took the time to share their accomplishments and goals with us. Our selected scholarship winners stood out for their incredible commitment to both their own personal growth, as well as our community's. 

Without further ado, help us congratulate our amazing scholarship winners!

avery scholarship winner canopy cuAvery

College attending: University of Portland
Field of study: Biology/Biochemistry/Biotechnology

How has the credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People’ impacted your life? 

“People Helping People” isn’t just a personal mantra; it’s a fundamental part of the
human experience. For me, it means assisting those in need, no matter how uncommon their afflictions might be.

My mother was diagnosed with the hugely under-researched autoimmune condition CRPS when I was very young—so young that I barely remember the days when she was able to run up and downstairs or join our family on walks. She was diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic after consulting with many doctors who were either mystified by or skeptical of the symptoms she described. It seems only natural to me to want to help her—and all those who have experienced the same treatment.

However, the “People Helping People” motto also extends beyond the realm of uncommon conditions. I think it is the obligation of the majority to protect and uplift those in oppressed communities: those who are targeted because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. For me, the racially motivated crimes of this year and last year were a rude awakening to the fact that racial injustice will not just go away—it must be actively, consciously fought every single day.

We’re living in a minefield of political correctness, but there is nothing politically correct about standing up for other human beings. It is something that simply must be done. “People Helping People” isn’t just about helping loved ones. It’s about looking out for those we don’t even know—people whose status as a member of a marginalized group makes them a target for discrimination. It means compassion for complete strangers despite your differences. It means loving your neighbor.

If you could encourage someone to volunteer for any local non-profit, which would you choose and why?

I would encourage people to volunteer for the non-profit Disability Rights Washington (DRW). This local organization seeks to create a society where people with disabilities are treated “with equality, dignity, and respect for their expressed choices”. People with disabilities are frequently overlooked by society, left to fend for themselves against unfair laws and policies. Volunteering for this non-profit would help fight these laws and policies, make the disabled community feel seen and heard, and draw attention to an issue that is too often ignored.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

Of course, I’m looking forward to the independence that comes with living on your own, but I’m also excited to meet a wider variety of people than I’ve ever been exposed to in my entire life. I hope to immerse myself in all different kinds of cultures, learn about other worldviews and traditions, and use my experiences to craft my own worldview.

kehau scholarship winner canopy cuKehau

College attending: University of Hawaii at West Oahu
Field of study: Anthropology

How has the credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People’ impacted your life?

The word aloha is 'Love' and 'People Helping People' is an action of aloha. Born and raised in Hawai'i, my parents lived aloha with kindness, compassion and generosity extending well beyond our immediate 'ohana (family). Because they led by example, I was able to experience firsthand the change and aloha can make in someone's life. Therefore, having the opportunity to be part of Canopy Credit Union, a credit union that truly practices and reflects the philosophy of 'People Helping People', I immediately felt a part of the Canopy 'ohana! The professionalism and compassion I continue to feel with every interaction define ALOHA! 

How do you hope to incorporate the 'People Helping People' philosophy in your college life? 

College life can encompass many layers based on age alone. However, regardless of age, sex, and beliefs, college brings different challenges for different people. No matter the challenges that may arise, I will personally continue to practice the 'People Helping People' philosophy with little acts of aloha. Who knows, a little aloha may help someone far beyond the one simple act! 

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

In December 2021, with a huge MAHALO (thank you) to Canopy Credit Union, I look forward to completing my bachelor's degree in Anthropology. I will continue to carry the kuleana (responsibility) of my kūpuna (ancestors). 

I was told of an old Hawaiin proverb that says, "Ua ola loko i ke aloha" (love gives life within). Though it has been a very challenging year for us all due to the pandemic and human adversities, with aloha at my forefront, it is with humble intentions that I continue to do my part in this world. 


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