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Donor Story

Alvin Pau‘ole


USS Kamehameha Scholarship

Alvin Pau‘ole has accomplished a lot in his life. He was the first minority in the nation to be selected into the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training Program, the only Native Hawaiian to serve as chief engineer of a nuclear reactor plant, and the only Hawaiian to command a fast attack nuclear submarine and a squadron of nuclear submarines. The 30-year veteran credits his achievements to his upbringing on Kaua‘i combined with his educational experience at Kamehameha Schools.

After retiring in 1990 as a captain with numerous medals, Pau‘ole went on to a successful post-military career in nuclear engineering. Being a leader in his field fueled his desire to create opportunities for Native Hawaiians. To that end, Pau‘ole cofounded the Pacific American Foundation which offers culture- and place-based education to prepare young Hawaiians for careers in fields ranging from robotics to finance.

Recently, as a board member for the Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association (PFSMA), he facilitated a partnership between PFSMA and the Pauahi Foundation to create the USS Kamehameha Scholarship for Native Hawaiians pursuing degrees in STEM or business-related fields.

Pau‘ole said he gives with Pauahi because he wants to help more Native Hawaiians emerge as community leaders by giving them the gift of education, as knowledge is the backbone of leadership.

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