Rudyjay Keopuhiwa '21
CS major among first graduates of Wai'anae-to-Whitworth program
Graduating from college has been a longtime goal for Rudyjay Keopuhiwa '21, but when he was finishing high school in Wai'anae, Hawai'i, he had no idea if he would be able to afford college tuition. Thanks to the Wai'anae-to-Whitworth scholarship program, he didn't have to.
This month, Keopuhiwa will celebrate his graduation. Four of his fellow scholarship recipients are also set to finish their degrees this year. They are the first students to graduate from the program, which guarantees 100 percent coverage of tuition, fees, and room and board costs for eight students per year from the Wai‘anae Coast, on O'ahu.
"It feels amazing," says Keopuhiwa, who is graduating cum laude with a degree in computer science. "It is just crazy that I am so close to achieving this goal in my life, and I hope that my family is proud of what I have done."
At Whitworth, Keopuhiwa played football for the Pirates for four years and was involved in Hawaiian Club. He has also grown in his faith through chapel. Adjusting to a new environment and academic expectations wasn't easy at first.
"The biggest challenge I faced at Whitworth was a hard transition from my high school education to Whitworth University's education. My first semester was a tough one," he says. "How I overcame this was by finding different resources like classmates, TAs and study sessions that helped me adjust."