ESEE program cohort

College of Education (COE) students, Elizabeth Baker and Rebecca Bootes, are 2016 University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Presidential and Regents Scholarship winners. They were recognized by the UH Board of Regents for their outstanding academic achievement. Regents Scholarships are awarded to 20 freshmen based upon SAT/ACT scores, high school GPA, and extracurricular achievements. Presidential Scholarships are awarded to 10 college juniors based upon college GPA, progress in academic courses, and evidence of superior academic achievement or creative endeavor.

Elizabeth Baker

As a Regents Scholar, Baker received a full tuition waiver for four years of undergraduate study. Working towards a bachelor’s degree (BEd) in secondary music education, she says the people who have had the most impact on her life have all been teachers, namely her mom who is her biggest inspiration. Her goal is to become a secondary music/choir teacher at Mililani High School, which is where her own passion for music began.

“This scholarship is an opportunity for me to explore and pursue my passions, better myself over the next four years, and then go out and serve our community with dedication and determination,” Baker said. “During such a STEM-focused time, I hope to inspire a whole new generation of students who love music to make the arts more accessible and more accepted as an equally intellectual field of study.”

Rebecca Bootes

As a Presidential Scholar, Bootes received a full tuition waiver for two years of undergraduate study. A transfer student from Kapi‘olani Community College (KCC), she is earning her BEd in elementary and early childhood education. A community driven person, she says she has always wanted to work with children and that studying at KCC while working at the Lego Store ignited her passion for teaching, learning, and exploration.

“I’m thankful and greatly humbled that I was chosen for this award and given the opportunity to continue my studies into a career of lifelong learning,” Bootes said. “It’s a testament that hard work, optimism, and perseverance do pay off. I could not have made it this far without the support system of my mentors, especially Veronica Ogata, and family.”

In addition to tuition waivers, Baker and Bootes will each receive $4,000 a year and a one-time travel grant of $2,000.

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