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by Erika Haslup, staff writer


The Japanese Women’s Society Foundation (JWSF) is offering two scholarships of $2,500 to graduate students in medical, nursing, public health, and social work fields. The students must be interested in pursuing the geriatric field, be in financial need, possess academic achievements, and be Hawai‘i residents.

Gerontology is the study of aging and the problems associated with it, while geriatrics is the study of medical care for aging persons. Lately, with the advancements in medicine, more people have been living longer. According to the Center on Family, a UH- Manoa Web site, calculated 172,008 of Hawai‘i’s population to be 65 yrs and older in 2004. Of that population, 125,648 persons were reported to be in the city and county of Honolulu. The trend was recognized in a 2001 U.S. Census press release. Richard M. Suzman, associate director of the National Institute of Aging’s Behavioral and Social Research Program, said, “Many governments and international agencies, as well as demographic researchers, have only recently begun to pay attention.”

According to its Web site, JWSF’s goal is to be “an acknowledged leader and trendsetter in the area of health and issues pertaining to aging.” The Web site refers to the growing aging population and believes it is important to encourage worthwhile services to the community, which is why the annual scholarships were created. Kathy Kiyabu, scholarship chair, said the JWSF “has supported care for the elderly since it was organized in 1954.”

The first scholarship was awarded in 1983, and since then 43 students have benefited from it. Kiyabu said that many of the previous scholarship-awarded students have pursued masters or doctorial degrees, and some have attended school on the mainland. She does mention that the JWSF does hope that applicants this year “…will continue to render care for the elderly in their profession.”

Application are due March 28. Students are to include an essay concerning their academic plans for the future as well as how it would impact service for the elderly of Hawai‘i. Along with the essay, students should include an official transcript, letter of recommendation, and statement of financial need. For more information and to download an application visit www.jwsf.org.



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