MECO announces $30,000 endowment fund for Sustainable Science Management program
KAHULUI – Maui Electric Company announced that it has established the Maui Electric Company Sustainability Scholarship Endowment Fund through a grant from the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation for students enrolled in the Sustainable Science Management (SSM) program at the University of Hawaii Maui College.
Maui Electric President Sharon Suzuki presented a check for $30,000 to Chancellor Lui Hokoana during a ceremony held at the UHMC campus on Jan. 14.
The endowment fund will be used to provide an annual scholarship of $1,000 in perpetuity. Every year, one student will be selected to receive the scholarship award based on financial need. Funds awarded to students may be applied toward tuition, books, fees and school-related supplies.
As the first major sponsor of the SSM program, Maui Electric hopes to inspire other local businesses to support the program and its students in substantial ways.
“The endowment reflects our commitment to support higher education and our workforce. By supporting the growth of the Sustainable Science Management program, we invest in our community and our future,” Suzuki said.
The SSM program was established in 2011 to address Maui’s environmental and energy issues, and since then it has evolved into a strong four-year degree program with approximately 60 majors. As one of three bachelor’s degree programs currently offered at UH Maui College, the SSM program will celebrate its first graduating class this spring.
The SSM program uses a systems thinking approach to address a range of sustainable issues, as well as the various technologies and practices that may impact future sustainability, including energy, ocean resources and water.
Maui Electric has supported the SSM program since it began five years ago.
“Energy is a critical topic that you can’t get away from when you talk about sustainability, and Maui Electric and SSM are engaged in a conversation about making energy more efficient,” said SSM Director Tim Botkin.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to develop our future leaders in this ever-changing industry,” Suzuki said. “We are very excited to be a part of it.”