U.S.-based charity Habele has announced issuance of its annual tuition K12 scholarships to students across the Federated States of Micronesia this week. The scholarships are awarded to low-income and high-performing students to attend the K-12 school of their family’s choosing.
The scholarships cover 75 percent of a student’s tuition at one of eight participating schools in three of the FSM’s four states. The students primarily come from rural communities and remote outer islands. Habele’s scholarships allow them to attend the highest quality private schools in the country, which tend to be located on the larger islands that serve as state capitals.
“Habele is very proud to announce our 2013 scholarship recipients,” said Neil Mellen, a Habele director. “Thanks to our generous donors, we’re going to help over 40 students this year—nearly twice the number that we supported last year.”
The increase in scholarship allocations was made possible by a combination of individual and institutional donations from across the United States and Europe. Special support came from Ray and Barbara Dalio of Greenwich, Connecticut as well as from the Hamburg-based corporation “Yapital.”
“We’re very grateful to our donors,” said Mellen. “People have been more generous than ever. We’ve had contributions from American civil servants, scuba diving tourists in the islands, and former Peace Corps volunteers. In particular, we’ve received just tremendous levels of support from Barbara and Ray Dalio, who visited Pohnpei and Yap last year, and from Yapital, a German financial services corporation that just launched this summer.”
Habele, which was founded by a group of former Peace Corps volunteers, has been awarding scholarships to primary and secondary school students in Micronesia since 2006. Each student is required to provide Habele with copies of his or her report card, a thank you letter, and a photograph during the course of the school year. New applicants also submit details of their family’s financial situation, and those applying to renew their scholarships must re-submit their application forms each year.
“We’re investing in these students,” said Mellen. “That’s our mission: to take a promising young man or woman, one who may not have access to quality education due to life circumstances, and give him or her the best schooling we possibly can. These are the young people who will grow up to lead Micronesia.”
“A scholarship is not a handout,” agreed fellow director Alex Sidles. “Not only are the families of our scholars contributing their share to the tuition costs, but we see our scholarships as an investment in the future of the FSM. It’s good for the students, and it’s good for the country.”
Tuition checks will be mailed out to the schools in the coming days, and parents of successful scholarship applicants will be notified by mail at the same time.
Those interested in applying for a scholarship or supporting Habele’s work in Micronesia can learn more online at www.habele.org. (Habele)