Traven Watase

Success with scholarsapp

By JoNelle Sood . November 4, 2020

We at the Ho’omau Foundation are proud to share our success story and news of our partnership with Traven Watase, CEO of Scholarsapp. His online application is one of the main reasons for our paramount achievement in awarding five scholarships this year.

Partnering with Watase and his team, Scholarsapp enabled us to promote our scholarship, efficiently review and evaluate applicants, and streamline communication. Over 40 students initiated the application process, with 17 completing their applications and five being awarded scholarships, in a very short period of time.

We started our non-profit in February 2020 and we were steadfast in our commitment to launch it this school year. We began our fundraising campaign in May with the goal to award scholarships in August and with the help of Scholarsapp we reached our goal. Scholarsapp helped consolidate the scholarship process and with their direct relationship with high schools in Hawaii students were able to receive these scholarships.

Scholarsapp was created when Traven Watase was applying for scholarships six years ago. His overall GPA wasn’t stellar and he did not stand out as a recipient, which made it difficult to search for scholarships that looked at him for his character and other accomplishments. Watase decided to go to a junior college to reduce his expenses and in conjunction, he created his own scholarship called PB&J. That’s right, peanut butter and jelly! He committed to eating PB&J sandwiches for a month so he could save money on groceries to put towards a $500 scholarship. He wanted to be the “boss” of his own scholarship. Being an accounting major, Watase assessed how many loaves of bread and how many jars of peanut butter and jelly he would need to purchase to live off for one month to fund his own scholarship. When it came time to find a platform to promote and award his scholarship, he couldn’t find the right avenue to do so, so he invented his own! He demystified the tedious process of how scholarship money is available and to whom they are available. Since 2014, Watase has been at the forefront of scholarships. His app has awarded $20 million in scholarships since 2019 and gratefully the Ho’omau Foundation is a part of this. We were able to raise more money, create more awareness, and award five students vs. the two we originally planned.

We look forward to partnering with Scholarsapp moving forward and helping achieve the goal of one million kids going to college.