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The Women of Wai'anae (WOW) raise funds for educational scholarships for nontraditional students.  We assist students by providing funding for supplies, equipment, tuition, and other expenses that may arise in their pursuit of education.  In addition, WOW engages in activities that enhance, protect, and restore the environment of the Wai'anae Coast Community.  Since 2005, Women of Wai'anae has been federally recognized as a 501c(3) charitable organization FEIN#99-0339323.

The Wai'anae Coast, or the Leeward coast of Oahu, stretches north to south from Ka'ena Point through the communities of Makaha,  Wai'anae, Maili, and Nanakuli.  This part of the island is noted for its arid, rugged and  remote coastline, deep, awe-inspiring ampitheater valleys and majestic mountains.  

The Wai'anae Coast is home to the largest concentration of Native Hawaiians on Oahu. They take pride in keeping the Hawaiian traditions of hula, surfing, cultural practices and values, and the spirit of Aloha alive.

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The Women of Wai'anae offer annual partial financial scholarships to the nontraditional student residents of the Wai'anae Coast.  All scholarships are available to motivated students who are enrolled in or are accepted to a 2-4 year college or trade school.  We aim to help our student winners overcome the obstacles of tuition costs, books and supplies, and transportation fees.  Winning a scholarship can open doors and get you one step closer to your dream!



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Candy Matautia
WOW Grand Winner



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In 1989 a small group of women in Wai'anae held yard and chili sales to build funds to help residents return to school.  The group named itself the Women of Wai'anae (WOW). The first award of $356 in 1990 went to a mother of two children who was in nursing school.  That awardee is now an RN at a Makaha nursing home.  Since 2014, WOW has awarded more than $186,000 in scholarships. In 2023 alone, WOW awarded $40,000 to twenty nontraditional Wai'anae students.  Over time these individuals will become the teachers, healthcare workers and social workers so badly needed on the Wai'anae Coast.


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Support the Women of Wai'anae scholarship fund.  Due to our all-volunteer workforce, almost 100% of your monetary donation goes toward scholarships.  We also accept non-cash, new or lightly used items for our yard sales and silent auctions.  Contact us below to make an item donation. 

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