Aloha, my name is Alyssa Lyman and I’m a 2 year recipient of the Paubox Kahikina Scholarship. I am currently a junior at Purdue University majoring in Cybersecurity. I started Purdue University in 2019 as a student majoring in Computer Science. I heard about the Paubox Kahikina Scholarship and was selected as a recipient for the 2020–2021 school year.
2020 was difficult and challenging as a student with online learning and COVID protocols. It was during this time, I came to the realization that I could not sustain the coursework and studies for computer science and decided to change my major to cybersecurity. Knowing this would affect my eligibility for the Paubox Kahikina Scholarship, it was with a heavy heart that I approached Hoala and advised him of my change.
To my surprise, Hoala and the scholarship committee re-evaluated the scholarship criteria and expanded the scholarship to majors beyond computer science to include Native Hawaiian students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math. With this change, the scholarship has been renamed to the Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship and I am extremely grateful and blessed to continue to be a scholarship recipient.
The updated eligibility of the scholarship allows more Native Hawaiians in STEM to have the same opportunities to get an education and grow their communities. This range of eligibility encourages more Native Hawaiians to broaden their interests and passions in technological fields. I am excited to grow with my native community in STEM!
With cybersecurity as my new focus and major, I made the Dean’s list this semester with a 3.9 GPA, and received a summer internship position here in Hawaii. Words cannot express how grateful I am for Hoala and Paubox for their support. The Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship is helping me take one small step towards fulfilling my education goals at Purdue University and dream of being the first woman of Native Hawaiian ancestry in space.
Me ka mahalo nui,