Scholarships have been awarded to college-bound students from communities where the company currently has a project in operation or in an advanced stage of development.
In its second year, applications to the program nearly doubled, with the highest participation rate in Hawaii. Six of this year’s 15 national recipients are students from Hawaii, and three are from Maui: Stephen Adolfson of Lahainaluna High School, who will attend Colorado State University and major in engineering; Dane Oshiro of Maui High School, who will attend Willamette University and major in environmental science; and Kamie-Lei Fujiwara of Kamehameha Schools Maui, who will attend Dartmouth College and major in environmental science;
“In its second full year, we were very pleased to see the significant increase in applications from so many talented and bright high school students in the communities where we develop and operate wind projects,” said Carol Grant, senior vice president of external affairs for First Wind.
“As we grow our development of clean, renewable energy projects across the Northeast, the West and Hawaii, we will continue to expand our scholarship program with the hope that students within our host communities take full advantage of it. For our 2011 recipients, we wish them all the best during their college careers and we are excited about their future contributions in the fields of environment, energy and the sciences.”
Launched in October 2009, First Wind Scholars offers one-time, $3,000 scholarships to support local high school students who display strong potential for a successful college experience, as well as interest in the environment, energy or the sciences. In addition, one student nationwide wins a four-year scholarship of $5,000 annually.
Successful applicants were chosen based on a number of factors, including academic performance, standardized test scores, community service activities and a 300-word essay.
Last year, three students from Lahainaluna High School were awarded scholarships through the program: Jing Hua, Wasseem Bel and Chelsea Gilchrist.
Hua was the recipient of the $5,000 scholarship, renewable for up to four years.
First Wind owns and operates two projects in Hawaii, including its 30 MW Kaheawa Wind project on Maui and its 30 MW Kahuku Wind project on Oahu.
First Wind has a power purchase agreement with Maui Electric Company for an additional 21 MW expansion of its Kaheawa Wind Project at Maalaea.