Capping off the Fall Semester, Opportunity Scholars hosted a Luau to celebrate graduates, express gratitude, and inspire their diverse and hard-working community.
Hosted by program directors Richard Kaufusi and Latu Kinikini, the evening gathered current scholars, graduates, families, and mentors for a delicious meal, entertainment, and an address from our new Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies Andrea Thomas.
Each graduate spoke about their life experiences and time in the program and offered advice to current scholars. Many come from challenging backgrounds and expressed how the Opportunity Scholars program gave them a lifeline, providing them the opportunity to work hard, grow, and use their education to move forward, develop careers, and give back to their families and communities.
They advised current scholars to stick with their education during difficult times and to realize that short-term sacrifice carries into long-term success. They also encouraged students to seek out mentorship and study groups and to recognize that this program provides them with a welcoming space where they can be themselves, connect, support each other, and network.
A common thread throughout the evening was gratitude to program leaders and donors who make the program possible — and for the support of their families and friends along the way. Shaykayla Alice Smith, an Entrepreneurship graduate, spoke of her desire to make her grandfather, a former Vietnam POW, and parents proud and honor the sacrifices they made for her, and to show her little brother that anything is possible. Without exception, graduates spoke of their desire to give back and use their education and career growth to help others in the future.
Opportunity Scholars Fall 2019 Graduates
- Arantxa Alejandra Acurero, Business Administration BS
- Benjamin Scott Bryson, Accounting BS
- Angela Cheung, Doctor of Pharmacy (DPH)
- Karilyn Frazier, Human Development & Family Studies BS
- Samuel James Hall, Management BS
- Marylynn Curfew Huggins, Accounting BS
- Samantha Jones, Business Administration BS, Accounting BS
- Talita Kiume Langa’oi, Accounting BS
- Lizette Medina, Management BS
- Brandon Isaac Oliver, Marketing BS
- Gabrielle Reid, Marketing BS
- Andrea Nicole Rivera, Finance BS, Marketing BS
- Jesus Eduardo Robles, Accounting BS
- Lirio Minuera Sanchez, Accounting BS
- Hem Sanyasi, Accounting BS
- Shaykayla Alice Smith, Entrepreneurship BS
- Fabrynn Soonalote, Economics BS, Management BS
- Ivalani Uipi, Finance 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.