Kuhio Park Residents Receive College Scholarships
Supporting Residents to Achieve Their Academic Goals

Three young residents and a father of seven were named the first Michaels Organization Educational Foundation Scholarship recipients from The Towers of Kuhio Park. On August 16th, 2012, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation continued its commitment of "giving back" to the communities in which it works.

Bonita Babas, Kathleen Mae Labuguen, Faith Otineru, and March Rubon received scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each and totaling $10,000. The scholarships are to assist in defraying tuition costs for their college and technical school attendance this fall. The funds will also support their educational and professional goals.

Bonita Babas is a graduate of McKinley High School. She is currently pursuing a career in education through a Post-Baccalaureate Special Education Teaching Certificate program at the University of Hawaii. 

Kathleen Mae Labuguen is the first of her family to attend college. She will be an incoming freshman this fall at Chaminade University. Kathleen aspires to be a registered nurse.

Faith Otineru will be starting her college career at the Honolulu Community College. She is hoping to obtain an Associates of Arts then a Bachelors of Business Administration. This is to give her the foundation to start her own business focused on supporting teens.

March Rubon is a fellow Honolulu Community College student. He is currently enrolled in the Welding Technology program to learn new skills. March wants to change careers after a 24-year career in another profession.

[Photo: Group poses, names in caption]
Left to right, front row: Anni Peterson, IRM Director of Social Services; State Representative Joey Manahan; State Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland; Governor Neil Abercrombie; Kathleen Mae Labuguen, Faith Otineru, and Bonita Babas, Award Recipients; Senator Donna Mercado Kim; and Stacie Brach, IRM District Property Manager. Left to right, back row: March Rubon, Award Recipient; Hakim Ouansafi, HPHA Executive Director; Michael Flores, HUD Regional Public Housing Director; Monika Mordasini, Michaels Development Company Vice President.

The Michaels Organization is leading the redevelopment and revitalization of the former Kuhio Park Terrace. They are working along with the Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HPHA) and local partner, The Vitus Group. The former Kuhio Park Terrace is Hawaii's largest federal public housing community.

The Towers at Kuhio Park is a state housing project that offers public housing, Section 8, low-income housing tax credits, and market-rate rental units to families with a wide variety of incomes. This complex represents a promising public-private partnership. It represents HUD's new initiative to address aging public housing projects.

The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation is the sponsor of the scholarships. It is a nonprofit affiliate of The Michaels Development Company and Interstate Realty Management (IMR). In 1991, the Michaels Organization Educational Foundation became the first company in the industry to create a scholarship program open to all residents who live in housing owned or managed by companies of The Michaels Organization.

In attendance were HUD officials, Governor Abercrombie, community leaders, executives from The Michaels Organization, friends, and family. They all joined these four promising individuals in celebrating their academic achievements and future.


Content Archived: February 20, 2014