Alexuz Pesantemercado

Alexuz Pesantemercado, who is earning her bachelor’s degree in the College of Education’s Exceptional Students & Elementary Education (ESEE) program, is leading a student-driven fund for Giving Day 2024. Her journey to this philanthropic endeavor began in fall 2023 after the Maui Wildfires.

“I started out wanting to support a classmate who was impacted by the wildfires,” Pesantemercado said. “It truly hurt to see how much pain she was going through. But instead of accepting my help, she asked that I try to help others in the community. I had no idea what I was doing, but I just went for it.”

While earning her undergraduate degree across two disciplines and tutoring six days a week, Pesantemercado began to campaign for a fundraiser for educators on Maui. She envisioned a competition among her fellow students in COE cohorts. Unsure of how to do this, she initially proposed a walkathon and began navigating her way through various UH offices.

Pesantemercado and her boyfriend even self-produced a video to encourage others to participate (video link below). Eventually, with support from UH Foundation and COE faculty members, like Assistant Professor Cindy Farley, Pesantemercado was able to establish her very own fund for Giving Day, a “Battle of the COE Cohorts.” Proceeds will go to Feed Maui and Urgent Student Relief Fund.

“I am so impressed with Alexuz and the determination it took for her to get her student-driven campaign to the kickoff point,” Farley said. “So many are still impacted by the devastation caused by the Maui Wildfires. Watching the COE cohorts battle it out for top spot on the UH Foundation leaderboard will be so rewarding.”

Together, Farley and Pesantemercado have been working on a plan to get other COE cohorts involved as student ambassadors. UH Foundation will create a leaderboard to track top fundraising cohorts who will earn prizes and recognition.

“I hope Giving Day is successful for all funds!” Pesantemercado said. “I am really excited to see the community come together to contribute to a cause. I am thankful to be a part of this day and to all classmates, families, and friends that participate!”

Watch Alexuz’s Maui Announcement Video.
Read the Giving Day 2024 COE Announcement.

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