What do you do when the life you planned doesn’t happen the
way you want it to? What if you made
mistakes or things happened, and now you’re heading down a road you don’t want
to be on? What about second
chances? Second chances are at the very
heart of the Adult Student in Scholastic Transition Scholarship Program (ASIST)
and it’s where I choose to donate my time for my Passion Project.
The ASIST Scholarship by Executive Women’s International
(EWI) Honolulu Chapter offers second chances for adults who face economic,
social or physical challenges. Past
winners of the scholarship have come out of incarceration, drug or alcohol
addiction, domestic violence situations, and many other issues. For these recipients this is a new start to
move themselves and their families to a better future.
When I started with EWI Honolulu in 2011, I was initially
impressed with the positivity and energy of the members and that this group did
more than network. EWI has two
scholarship programs: (EWSIP) high school seniors and (ASIST) adult students in
scholastic transition and I would find myself very emotional at the ASIST
scholarship awards. The year I was ASIST
chair, I got to know these women and guide them through the application
process. When I finally met them
face-to-face at the interviews, I felt an intense gratitude for the life I have
and for the opportunity to help someone else.
The look on the faces of these women when they received their
scholarship is what makes me come back every year. They were so grateful that someone believed
in them and was willing to take a chance.
Since 1996, EWI Honolulu has offered the ASIST scholarship. We
are gearing up again to have local business leaders interview the applicants
and decide which ones will get scholarships. In July 2019 an awards ceremony
will be held, giving out $10,000 towards either a college education or a trade
school and giving scholarship awardees the opportunity for a second chance.