A virtual luau: Opportunity Scholars honors spring and summer 2020 graduates

Pride. Perseverance. Inspiration. Accomplishment. Gratitude. Hope.

These are just a few of the words that attendees took away from this year’s Opportunity Scholars Luau, a celebration of 2020 Spring and Summer graduates. And while the COVID-19 pandemic may have kept them physically apart, this tight-knit community exhibited a real sense of togetherness.

Graduates joined via zoom to express gratitude to donors, faculty and staff, fellow students, and program leaders, Richard Kaufusi and Latu Kinikini, for their guidance and support throughout their educational journey.

“Thank you to my donors,” expressed Lu Pway Doh, a graduate in Marketing, “and to my parents who sacrificed so much.”

He went on to highlight the community and support that the program and the Eccles school provides to students.

“I didn’t feel like I belonged until I joined Opportunity Scholars,” echoed Fatima Garcia, a Business Administration graduate. “You don’t have to do it alone.”

Graduates shared their educational journeys and offered advice to their fellow students.

“Every year, we would celebrate our graduating classes, and I would get to hear these amazing stories of [students] going through their difficult trials,” said Giovanni Nava, a Finance graduate. “Their words inspired me and allowed me to create my own journey. Regardless of the obstacles that we have in front of us, we can do it.”

He spoke of the opportunities that the Eccles school offered him, including an internship at Goldman Sachs.

Across the board, these first-generation students expressed their desire to serve as an example for younger generations, support their families, work hard, and eventually become donors themselves.

Each graduate also received a gift package that included a special graduation stole and a gift card to Moki’s Hawaiian Grill.

2020 Opportunity Scholars graduates:

  • Joana Acevedo (Marketing BS)
  • Shaylee Kim Anderson (Management BS)
  • Nate Beaumont (Business Administration BS)
  • Tamara Calzado Real (Economics BA, Statistical Analysis)
  • Gustavo Cordeiro (Business Administration BS)
  • Lu Pway Doh (Marketing BS)
  • Brooke D’Sousa (Entrepreneurship BS)
  • Naghmeh Foroughi (Accounting BS)
  • Fatima Garcia (Business Administration BS)
  • Christian Jones (Finance BS)
  • EJ Jones (Business Administration BS)
  • Samatha Jones (Accounting BS, Business Administration)
  • Audrey Jordan (Management BS)
  • Jennifer Kennedy (Accounting BS)
  • Yoon Hee (Walter) Kim (Accounting BS)
  • Nikki Lam (Information Systems MS)
  • Shelbie Larsen (Finance BS)
  • Abraham Lopez (Finance BS)
  • Diana Miron-Valadez (Business Administration BS)
  • Giovanni Nava (Finance BS, Advanced Financial Analysis)
  • Fiorella Rodriguez (Marketing BS)
  • Nadja Sasivarevic (QAMO, Marketing Emphasis BS)
  • Minerva Saucedo (Accounting BS)
  • Suyog Shrestha (Operations & Supply Chain BS)
  • Jennifer Sika (Business Administration BS)
  • Lawrence Stubbs (Finance BS)
  • Julie Trujillo (Accounting BS)
  • Johnny Vuong (Information Systems BS, MS)
  • Jeffrey Jie Wang (Marketing HBS, Management BS)
  • Bryan T. Zemba (Business Administration BS)

The Eccles School is proud of our Opportunity Scholar graduates and this fantastic program designed to support and enhance the educational experience of first-generation business students as they progress toward graduation. For more information, visit Eccles.link/opportunity-scholars.

You can watch the full luau celebration here.

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