2023 Scholarship Winners Announced
The Big Island Press Club awarded scholarships totaling $5,000 to four students this year, with each winner receiving $1,250 to pursue a higher education in journalism or a related field. The Big Island Press Club is Hawaii’s oldest press club, protecting the public’s right to know since 1967.
The recipients are:
● Lichen Forster, of Mountain View, is a geology major at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and has been editor in chief of the student newspaper, Ke Kalahea, for the past three semesters. Forster, who's majoring in geology, wants to pursue a career in science journalism. Forster plans to be an exchange student at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand for the fall semester, while continuing the newspaper work as copy editor. This is their third BIPC award.
"I’ve enjoyed leading the team and being able to make important decisions about how our budget is spent and our team operates,” Forster said. “(Now), I’m excited to use the skills I’ve gained to make our writing as good as I know it can be."
● Maya-Lin Green, of Waimea, is a 2008 graduate of Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a communications and media journalism major at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Green joined Ke Kalahea as a staff writer in the spring semester. She plans a career in public relations, writing or a related field.
“I love writing, and it would be incredible to write about things that I find interesting, engaging and dynamic,” Green said. “I like reading and writing about the intersections of pop culture, environmentalism, human interest, psychology, science and politics.”
● Kai Hayashida, a Hilo High 2023 graduate from Hilo, plans to major in journalism and will attend Whitworth University, in Spokane, Washington, this fall. Hayashida called Hilo High School athletic contests on its Hiki No video media platform KVIKS.
“Working for a large company that broadcasts major sporting events has been a dream of mine since at least fifth grade,” Hayashida said. “All I want to do is to get involved with sports and share my writing to the world.”
● King James Mangoba, of Papaaloa, is a 2023 graduate of Hilo High School who plans to major in communications. Mangoba will attend Fordham University in New York City. Mangoba participated as a part of the crew to produce a story video for PBS Hawaii’s Hiki No program, an activity that whetted his interest in television journalism.
“I would like to use my voice to lift and showcase inspiring and unseen stories within my community,” Mangoba said. “Being a storyteller for Hawaii is my way of giving back to my community.”
Awarding scholarships to promote journalism is an annual event and one of the primary projects of the press club, which is the oldest in the state.
Generous gifts from several Big Island Press Club members along with an annual donation from the family of Bill Arballo, have supplemented funds previously donated by the families of Hugh Clark, Robert Miller, Jack Markey and Yukino Fukabori.
Bill Arballo was a founding member of Big Island Press Club in 1967 and its first president. A former United Press International reporter, he is honored through a scholarship funded by an annual donation from Bill's daughter, Teresa Barth, and her husband, Bill. Arballo died in 2016.
Hugh Clark was called a “newspaperman’s newspaperman.” He wrote about crime, politics, sports and volcanic eruptions for the Honolulu Advertiser and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. He was a charter member of the Big Island Press Club. Clark died in 2015.
Robert Miller was a UPI reporter whose 1968 speech to BIPC inspired Ouida Hill, wife of state Sen. W.H. “Doc” Hill, to donate $1,000 to start the Miller Scholarship. Miller died in 2004.
The late Jack Markey was a visible street-side fixture in Hilo. With poor vision and unable to drive a car, Markey, a senior citizen, walked and hitchhiked around town to sell radio advertising, he recruited new members for BIPC and was instrumental in building the BIPC scholarship endowment.
Noteworthy for reporting “hard news” for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald as early as the 1930s when women reporters were generally on the society page, Yukino Fukabori, who later taught news writing at Hilo High School, funded a scholarship in 1993. She died in 1995.
The BIPC Scholarship committee for 2023 was chaired by Tiffany Edwards Hunt, BIPC vice president, a middle school teacher, former journalist and longtime former advisor to Ke Kalahea. Members were Royelen Boykie, retired digital strategist and fundraiser and BIPC board member; John Burnett, police and courts reporter for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, former BIPC president and three-time BIPC scholarship recipient, and Robert Duerr, documentary film producer and Senior Active member of Outdoor Writers of America Association.
The Big Island Press Club holds events throughout the year for its members and the public to get to know each other and various newsmakers. In addition to the marquis scholarship dinner in which scholarships are awarded, the Big Island Press Club also holds an awards ceremony at the end of the year to award its meritorious Torch of Light award. Tickets for that event, which will be held Dec. 2, in Waikoloa Village, will be available for sale on the press club website later this fall. The website also provides information for people interested in joining the club or making a tax-deductible donation to the 501c3 nonprofit Big Island Press Club Scholarship Foundation at bigislandpressclub.org.
(Photo caption group shot: The Big Island Press Club celebrated its four scholarship winners Thursday evening at the Seaside Restaurant and Aqua Farm. (l-r) Brian Wild, former scholarship winner and guest speaker, Maya-Lin Green, Kai Hayashida, Lichen Forster and King James Mangoba.)
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