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Press Releases

February 2, 2018

Contact:

Rita Pin Ahrens
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications
rahrens@apiasf.org

APIASF Scholar Nuanua Iuli Recognized at Inaugural Super Luau

WASHINGTON, DC (February 2, 2018) - The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the nation's largest non-profit provider of college scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA), celebrated Polynesian culture and achievement at the first annual Super Luau February 2nd in Minneapolis where APIASF Scholar, Nuanua Iuli, was presented the Rising Star Award.

Co-founded by Pittsburgh Steelers' Wide Receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Super Luau was the first event to honor the Polynesian community during Super Bowl Week. With its star-studded list of athletes and community leaders, the Super Luau also gave back to organizations supporting the Polynesian community, including APIASF.

The event also honored individuals and organizations making an impact in the community and serving as role models for future generations. Alongside Haloti Ngata, Detroit Lions' defensive tackle, Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, founder of the Haloti Ngata Family Foundation, and recipient of the Horizons Award, APIASF Scholar Nuanua Iuli was honored with the Rising Star award.

Iuli was raised in the village of Leone, American Samoa, and is the daughter of Fa'aalu and Vincent Iuli. She graduated from Samoana High School in 2016 where she was Student Body President her senior year. During high school, she was also an awardee of the Junior State of America Summer Institute at Princeton University where she studied Speech and Political Communications. She also was a representative from American Samoa to the Close-Up Program in Washington D.C., Virginia, Philadelphia, and New York City. Iuli is currently a sophomore at St. John's University in Queens, New York studying Anthropology and International Relations. Most recently, she completed an overseas semester in Italy. Iuli hopes to work in diplomacy in the United Nations towards sustainable development to benefit island communities in the Pacific.

"I am a part of a culture that is bigger than just myself. In Samoa, family is called 'aiga' and aiga means support both near, far and through every step of life. I am grateful to the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for becoming a part of my aiga throughout this academic journey. APIASF continues to support the next generation of Polynesian doctors, lawyers, educators, leaders and students like me," said Iuli. "I realize now that when we open doors of education, we give our youth the opportunity to leave our islands as ambassadors of education to see what the world outside Polynesia can teach us."

"We are thrilled to see one of our very own Scholars presented the Rising Star Award by a distinguished group of leaders in the Polynesian community," said Neil Horikoshi, APIASF President and Executive Director. "Nuanua is a role model to all Scholars who are pursuing education and career goals with plans to give back to their community. We thank the Super Luau for bringing the contributions of Polynesian and Pacific Islander communities to light and for supporting APIASF as we continue our work to increase access for students within these communities."

Individuals who would like to give to the Super Luau's charitable efforts are encouraged to visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/apiasf to make a donation in honor of "Polynesian Scholars."


Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIA). APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $110 million in scholarships to deserving APIA students. APIASF manages three scholarship programs: APIASF's general scholarship, APIASF's AANAPISI scholarship, and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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L to R: Ed Mulitalo, APIASF Scholar Nuanua Iuli and Haloti Ngata, Defensive Line Lions & Horizons Award Awardee
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L to R: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Wide Receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ed Mulitalo, Jesse Sapolu, APIASF Scholar Nuanua Iuli and Haloti Ngata, Defensive Line Lions & Horizons Award Awardee
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L to R: APIASF Scholar Nuanua Iuli and JuJu Smith-Schuster, Wide Receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers