Our Islands, Our Future

Baldwin High School robotics team captain Joey Albright has been accepted into six colleges with plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. He says his experience with robot building and the task of writing grants to fund the robotics team helped him to succeed. “STEM education is important. It paid off for me,” said Albright, who has been on the Baldwin robotics team since his freshman year.

Albright took charge in his junior and senior year with applying for monetary support from the Maui Economic Development Board’s Ke Alahele Education Fund Program. “Getting money was number one for me. We can’t be competitive without funding,” Albright said. He said he gladly accepted the duties of grant writer because he wanted to improve his writing skills. “I thought it was a great opportunity to get experience and skills to apply for colleges and for scholarships,” he said. “I learned the importance of meeting deadlines, of dealing with different types of people and just working with a team. I think it was definitely worth it.” Albright said his fellow Baldwin Robotics Club members helped with writing for other private grants including Sean Endo and Aubrey Unemori.

Albright graduates in a few weeks, having competed on the state and national level. He said he would encourage new students to sign up for robotics. “The best thing for freshmen is to stick with it, no matter how much it takes,” Albright said. Since 2007, more than $740,000 in grants has been awarded to schools and students and their STEM education programs and projects. This year’s Ke Alahele Education Fund Dinner and Auction will be held Aug. 23 at the Grand Wailea Resort. Sponsorships opportunities are available. Contact MEDB at; call 875-2300, or visit: