Banner Photo: Kahlea Yaromal and Rayona Bernardo, in 3rd and 4th grade respectively, are Habele scholars attending Pohnpei Catholic School.
Every spring Habele reasches out American citizens with some connection to Micronesia, asking for support to award it’s annual K12 tuition scholarships.
Promising students who need financial assistance to attend Micronesia’s top-rated elementary and high schools send Habele applications. The Fund writes checks to the school in the students’ names for fifty to seventy five percent of tuition owed. Their families pay the rest. Over the school year these students provide Habele report cards, photos and letters to report on their academic progress.
Photo: Slayton Igem is a junior at Yap Catholic High School.
Each year, the number of scholarships awarded depends on the response to this letter -Habele’s only annual fundrasing effort- and donations made at the end of the calendar year. Habele’s scholarship are entirely funded by individual donations, never grants. The bulk of Habele’s supporters are returned Peace Corps Volunteers, former State Department offocials, family of US serviceman or officials who served in the Islands, academics with regional expertise, and tourists who fell in love with Micronesia while visiting.
Photo: Shyaleen Ilawegimal of Ifaluk (Yap State) is a sixth grader attending Faith Christian Academy on Yap. In March she proudly sent a copy of her latest report card showing her 4.0 grade point average.
“I am very proud of all of Habele’s work. High school robotics, targeted book donations and cultural mentorships are all highly effective and efficient,” explained Neil Mellen, Habele’s Founder. “But our tuition scholarships -the direct investment in the future of a singular young Micronesian working to advance themselves- is what I take greatest pride in.””
Photo: Karishma Paul is a sophomore at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School in Pohnpei. Karishma won first place in the Pohnpei State Department of Education Science Competition in March.
In 2022-23 Habele awarded 56 tuition scholarships to students from across the four Micronesian States, attending eight different elementary and high schools. Habele hopes to award 60 scholarships for the 2023-24 school year.