Blaise Baldonado, a 2005 Kamehameha Schools graduate, lived a life filled with aloha.
“He enjoyed being around friends and family,” said Blaise’s mother, Felicia Lum. “He was always taking care of others, giving of himself and making sure that everyone was their best person.”
Unexpectedly, Blaise passed away on Aug. 6, 2015 at the age of 28. His aloha will be felt in perpetuity through the Blaise A. Kepo‘okelaokekai Baldonado Scholarship—a new endowment fund at the Pauahi Foundation established by his mother.
The scholarship will support Native Hawaiian students pursuing a degree in the arts or a field related to higher education.
“Blaise had a passion for education and life. This scholarship will bless future college students with the same opportunities that Blaise had,” added Felicia.
As a student at Kamehameha Schools, he was involved in the arts. He was a member of the children’s choir, concert glee and the drama club. He also served as the Song Contest director for the men in his junior and senior years.
After high school, he attended Seattle University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University.
“He felt that education was very important in becoming successful professionally and in the community,” said Felicia. “He was the first in our family to complete a four-year degree, as well as a master’s.”
Blaise later returned home and was hired as the director of student services at Chaminade University, a position that allowed him to help others in their pursuit of a post-high education.
“Although my son had a short-lived life, he most certainly made an impact on many lives. That impact will be felt for generations to come through his scholarship,” said Felicia.
To honor Blaise’s life and legacy, his family and friends are hosting a celebration on Mar. 1, 2017, at Artistry Honolulu in Kaka‘ako, O‘ahu. The event will include ‘ono food, live entertainment by friends of Blaise and a silent auction. The family welcomes any donations, as all proceeds generated from the event will go towards the Blaise A. Kepo‘okelaokekai Baldonado Scholarship.
“Blaise would have wanted to organize this event and would have done a terrific job,” said Felicia, “I wanted to honor his legacy and let the public know of this opportunity for future college students.”
If you are interested in attending this event, you can RSVP by emailing AlohaBlaiseB@gmail.com.
Donations to the Blaise A. Kepo‘okelaokekai Baldonado Scholarship can be made by visiting his scholarship’s giving page.