Marisa Seril of Wahiawa was one
of 100 high school students selected from around the state
in 1997 to participate in the 2nd Century Scholars Program,
one of the largest scholarship programs in Hawai‘i history.
Being set apart, nurtured, and invested in by Bank of Hawai‘i
is something that has shaped and molded me as a viable individual,” said
Seril. “The people I’ve been given the opportunity
to work side-by-side with, because of my affiliation with the
Bank of Hawai‘i 2nd Century Scholars Program, has had the
biggest impact on my life.”
The eight-year, $5 million commitment to investing in Hawai‘i’s
future leaders is the first of its kind. Established in honor
of the bank’s 100th anniversary, the 2nd Century Scholars
Program provided students from low- and moderate-income families
the opportunity and support to successfully graduate from high
school and attend an accredited four-year college of their choice.
As college students, each scholar was eligible to receive up
to $10,000 per year for four years.
It’s been a rewarding experience to watch these scholars
grow from bright young minds to future leaders,” said Grace
Kawano, program manager, Bank of Hawai‘i 2nd Century Scholars
Program. “This is an exciting time for all of us – we’re
thrilled to see the bank’s investment in Hawai‘i’s
future beginning to pay off. Congratulations to Marisa for this
tremendous achievement and for serving as a role model for Hawai‘i’s
As a result of the 2nd Century Scholars Program, Seril has
become the first in her family to earn a college degree.
Pacific University graduate holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology
From the first minute I stepped into the program, all I could
feel were echoes of encouragement,” said Seril.
HPU Vice President for Student Support Services, Nancy
Ellis, was one of the readers of the original applicants.
HPU staff served as mentors to the selected students while
still in high school, and the group spent some time in
the residence halls on HPU’s windward campus to get a taste of college
I’d like to eventually give back to those who worked hard
to shape and guide me,” added Seril.
"I want to live
up to the highest expectations of not only my family
and myself, but also of Bank of Hawai‘i.”