Growing Our Own Teachers on Kauai has provided scholarships to more than 85 student teachers. These scholarships help the teacher candidates finish their final semester and go on to become teachers in our local schools. More than 88% of those teachers are still teaching here on Kauai! Some of our more recent recipients share their thoughts about how our scholarships helped them. 

Kimi Nagahisa 

There are not enough words to express the gratitude I have for the Growing Our Own Teachers on Kaua’i (GOOTK) organization.  For years, I postponed the completion of my special education teaching degree due to financial constraints.  In this time of uncertainty, this grant has not only made it possible for me to complete my schooling, but it has also lifted a heavy weight off of my shoulders.  I am deeply humbled to be chosen as a recipient of this award and I am beyond grateful that the GOOTK organization has blessed me with this immeasurable gift—the gift of education.  Their kindness has given me wings to fly in a time when I could barely walk.  For that, I am eternally grateful. –Kimi W. Nagahisa, M.A.T. Special Education (K-12), Graduate Student

Ciara Delos Reyes-Caires

Receiving this financial assistance, I am able to worry less on finances and focus more on being the best teacher at school and the best mother at home because children deserve the very best in life. 

Jennifer Hreljac

Jaylin Swartz

This financial assistance means so much to me. I can relieve my cost of living stress and put more effort towards my teaching career.

Monique Kan-Souza

Ira Lapitan

Barbara Bloemke

Sue Ryan

Marissa Hesapene



We’d love to hear how our scholarships affected our recipients! Please email your testimonial (short video or quote) about what our scholarship meant to you to

Please help us help more student teachers like these!