Turtle Bay Foundation Awards $100,000 in College Scholarships to 41 Students

The Turtle Bay Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Turtle Bay Resort, awarded $100,000 in scholarships to 41 students pursuing their dreams of higher education during an awards ceremony at the resort in early May. The awards propel the Foundation’s giving to a new milestone – more than $1 million in scholarships to support more than 300 students on their academic journeys and grants to around 70 nonprofits making a positive difference in our North Shore and Ko‘olauloa communities.

“We’re honored to award our largest scholarship package to date to deserving scholars who are the leaders and innovators of tomorrow,” said Tom Donovan, vice president and managing director of Turtle Bay Resort and president of Turtle Bay Foundation. “We know that a quality education is critical to setting up our keiki for success, and as an organization, this is one of the most important contributions we can make.”

This year, the Turtle Bay Foundation introduced new scholarship opportunities, recognizing ‘Ilima, Naupaka and Hala recipients with $10,000, $5,000 and $1,000 toward their education, respectively. Three students were named ‘Ilima Scholars (from left to right), including: 

  • Keonaonaku’upuaihalihali’iamaikalanimai Keo is a Kahuku High and Intermediate School graduate who is now attending Brigham Young University in Provo. 
  • Lolomanaia “Naia” Kanongataa will be graduating early from Kahuku High and Intermediate School – having completed high school in just three years – and plans to attend Brigham Young University – Provo. 
  • Zane Saenz will be graduating from Kahuku High and Intermediate School and will go on to study at Brigham Young University – Hawai‘i. 

“Being selected as a recipient for the Turtle Bay Foundation’s Ilima Scholarship means a lot less stress for me trying to find jobs to work this summer to help pay for college, and I will be able to focus more on my studies than on worrying about paying for college,” said Lolomanaia “Naia” Kanongataa, who plans to study civil engineering. “Being selected for one of the top scholarships has also really boosted my confidence that I can actually achieve great things.”

John Bali

The Turtle Bay Foundation also matched a $500 donation from the Just Breathe Hawai‘i Retreat to create a new $1,000 scholarship honoring lifelong resident and community leader Angel Ramos. Ramos is well known on the North Shore and around O’ahu for his wealth of knowledge on Hawai‘i’s Filipino plantation life, displays of photographs of life in Kahuku, and all-around good humor. The Foundation selected John Bali as the award recipient, given his academic achievements and participation in the National Honors Society, Bayanihan Club (Filipino Club), and student council at Waialua High and Intermediate School.

The Foundation awarded educational scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year to 41 high school and college students from schools including Kahuku High and Intermediate School, Waialua High and Intermediate School, the University of Hawaiʻi, Brigham Young University and more.

Since its inception in 2012, the Turtle Bay Foundation has awarded more than 300 students with funds based on a combination of criteria, including academic performance, financial need, extracurricular activities and community involvement.

Turtle Bay Resort launched the Foundation to support deserving youth and organizations for the sustainable future of our North Shore and Ko‘olauloa communities. In addition to providing scholarships, the Foundation has provided 70 nonprofit programming grants and protected 858 acres of natural coastlines, dedicating countless service hours to support residents in need and protect the lands and native species that make the North Shore so unique. 

Blackstone, the owner of Turtle Bay Resort, provides significant financial support each year to advance the mission of the Turtle Bay Foundation as part of its commitment to invest in and uplift the surrounding North Shore communities.