Non-profit organizations Habele and Waa’gey conducted a workshop for parents interested in obtaining tuition scholarships for their children in the 2013-2014 school year. The workshop was held in the afternoon at the community center in Colonia in Yap, Micronesia. Interested parents arrived throughout the day, and volunteers from Habele and Waa’gey were on hand to assist them in the application process. The workshop was the first of its kind for Habele, and around forty applications were received during the course of the event.
The workshop also marked the first time that Habele accepted K-12 scholarship applications from students from the main island of Yap. Previously, scholarships had been limited to outer island students from Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei States, due to Habele’s limited finances. This year, however, the contributions of several generous donors, especially the Germany-based financial services corporation Yapital, have made it possible for Habele to expand its scholarship program to mainland Yapese students as well.
“Yapital has been a crucial partner in our ability to expand our scholarships this year,” said Habele board member Alex Sidles. “Without Yapital’s assistance, we wouldn’t be able to accept nearly as many students.”
The workshop on Yap enabled families without internet access to complete applications. “Not everyone has access to a computer or a printer,” said Larry Raigetal, of Waa’gey who assisted in organizing and conducting the workshop. “In fact, it’s often been the neediest families who have the hardest time getting their applications turned in.”
Due to the strong positive feedback Habele received from the community about the workshop, Habele plans to conduct a similar workshop on Yap every year. Habele will still accept scholarship applications over the internet, but the new annual workshop will enable families without internet access to apply. “We want to be as inclusive as possible when accepting scholarship applications. An annual workshop is the best way to do that,” said Sidles.
Habele will announce its decisions regarding scholarship applications in August. Families will be notified individually whether their student’s application has been approved or declined. In the case of a declined application, Habele encourages the family to apply again next year