I never imagined that I’d one day be a recipient of the Fernandez Earle Scholarship Foundation (FESF). After calculating what years the scholarship would be offered and noticing that it didn’t fall on my graduation year I began to think of other universities that I could attend upon graduating from secondary school. It came as a surprise when in my senior year, my principal stopped me in the hallway and asked me if I was going to apply. “Apply for what?” I thought. She then informed me that the FESF was offering the Hawaii scholarship in the spring even though it had just been given out the year before. I couldn’t believe it and knew that this was the chance of a lifetime and something I had to pursue.
In 2008 I was the fortunate recipient of the Fernandez Earle Scholarship. The past four years have been a whirlwind of incredible experiences that I never would have had the opportunity to take part in had it not been for the generous support of the Fernandez Earle Scholarship Foundation.
I recently graduated with honors from Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) receiving my Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and minor in Geography. Attending school in Hawaii allowed me to gain a well-rounded education that not only focused on academics but also on the importance of understanding the cultural diversity our world has to offer. I was able to study about our environment with students from all around the world giving me a unique learning experience which included both scientific and cultural perspectives of topics such as climate change, carbon offsetting initiatives, environmental law and policy, as well as effective management of natural resources.
In addition to the knowledge I gained in the classroom, I also learned much about life. I grew as a person and have become more confident in my abilities. I am excited to take on any future endeavours that come my way and am looking forward to finding a career that I’m passionate about. It’s my hope to be able to give back to nature and society in the best ways possible. I hope to have the opportunity to work with other individuals who are intent on protecting the environment, not only through the promotion of the importance of living green and making good choices in our daily lives, but also through advocating for the proper implementation of environmental policies around the world. I hope that what I’ve learned can be shared with others and applied to make a better world for future generations. Currently I’m in Hawaii and have been accepted into HPU’s Optional Practical Training program. This program provides graduates the opportunity to stay in Hawaii for one additional year to gain valuable work experience. A new adventure begins as I start to explore various job opportunities in my field of study, hopefully finding my ‘niche’.
My hope for all students of Haida Gwaii is that they get the chance to have amazing experiences, just as I have. I encourage future generations of students to strive toward pursuing post secondary education and the many other goals they may have set their sights upon. Everything is possible!
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi
To all members of the Fernandez Earle Scholarship Foundation, its kind donators, and of course to the families of Roger Earle and Kane Fernandez; it’s truly humbling to have someone put so much trust in you to succeed, and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you for all that you have done for me.