HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Lunalilo Scholars Program (LSP) at Kapi’olani Community College recently received a $1.2 million grant from Kaneta Foundation, which supports Native Hawaiian students and students in financial need, their first year in college.

According to UH, in 2012, a robust philanthropic investment from the Kaneta Foundation launched the King William Charles Lunalilo Scholars Project, now referred to as the “Lunalilo Scholars Program,” giving 21 Hawai’i residents the chance to receive a transformative first-year college experience for free.

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Over the past nine years, the University of Hawai’i (UH) said more than 500 students have benefited from the LSP program, changing their lives for the better.

UH said since then, a whopping 31% of Lunalilo scholars have been the first in their families to attend college.

Apenisa Saulekaleka, aka “Nisa,” is a current UH student who credits the Lunalilo Scholars Program with helping him rise from graduating from high school with a 1.3 cumulative grade point average to graduating from Kapi‘olani CC as a valedictorian. 

“All of that would not have been possible without Lunalilo instilling determination and hope especially to help me strive further,” Saulekaleka said.

For more information go to, Kapi’olani Community College’s website.