Chantal Charbonnier and Her Scholarship Winning Experience at HPU

Chantal Charbonnier and Her Scholarship Winning Experience at HPU

Not many teenagers can say they’ve had the opportunity to give a TED Talk and even fewer can say they’ve won a four year scholarship based in part on that talk, but Chantal Charbonnier can say she’s accomplished both. As the recipient of last year’s Biz4Good scholarship, Charbonnier proposed a way to increase employee productivity through changing each employee’s mental state.

Charbonnier, a freshman majoring in Business Administration, heard about the scholarship opportunity three days before the deadline to register from her high school counselor at Maui Preparatory Academy. Her willingness paid off when she was one of two students awarded full tuition to HPU.

The inspiration for Charbonnier’s idea came from Tony Robbins’ Global Youth Leadership Summit that she’s been attending for the past four years, most recently serving as a Youth Leader. The conference teaches young adults about the importance of having a strong mind and learning to stand up for themselves and their ideas.

Charbonnier’s project was the culmination of a year-long venture that was supported by multiple people including her high school counselor and HPU faculty and staff. The skills she’s learned go far beyond just the project itself. She’s learned communication and flexibility when curve balls have been thrown her way. “The day of the workshop, I had to fly in from Maui, but there was a big brushfire that closed down the major highway, so I was unable to get to the airport. I had to Skype in and I was able to participate in the final workshop where I was awarded the scholarship. It definitely taught me to plan ahead in case things go wrong!”

For prospective students interested in competing in HPU’s scholarship challenge, she encourages students to attend the workshops. “It helps to be able to connect with prospective students as well as teachers and faculty and to be able to see what you’re getting in to. It’s (also) nice being able to see where you’re going to be if you do attend HPU.”

Within the few short months that she’s been at HPU, Charbonnier has created a lot of memories in and outside of the classroom. In the HPU Honors Program, she’s learning about topics like science fiction and its relationship to real-life science, something that she didn’t know much about before. Outside of the classroom, she’s been bonding with her peer mentor and even conquered Koko Head to watch the sunrise. When asked about some of her favorite things about HPU so far, she reflects and says there are so many. “I love the weather. The faculty are really nice and I love that they embody the Aloha spirit, because that’s something I take very seriously. I don’t regret coming to HPU.”


The #HPU4HAWAII Scholarship Challenge is a program designated to encourage Hawai‘i’s youth to find creative solutions that positively impact the state and the world. Hawai‘i High School seniors are invited to share their ideas; four full 4-year tuition scholarships to HPU are being offered. A workshop is being held on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. More information here.