GSR Pene Foundation offers its first island-wide athletic scholarship


The Pene family, through their GSR Pene Foundation are seeking eligible students to apply for Academic and Athletic scholarships — specifically, they are looking for baseball and softball players who want to elevate their game to the next level.
Robert Pene told Samoa News that in the past four years, they have issued academic scholarship award checks to worthy recipients from Samoana High School, however this year, 2013 they want to take it up a notch and offer their first island-wide scholarship which will be an athletic scholarship specific to the sport of Baseball and Softball.
“This is our first year we'll be adding to our scholarship offering and making it an Island-Wide opportunity for baseball/softball players looking to elevate their game to the next level,” said Rob in an interview with Samoa News.
“Baseball has been very good to me," he noted. "Dad and mom were always there to support me through everything. It has taken me from Little League trips to Hawaii, to championship seasons in college and professional baseball, to my work with Major League Baseball in Europe… my parents have always cheered me on."
“We want to do the same for a baseball/softball athlete in American Samoa,” he told Samoa News.
Rob, noted that in December of 2007, their family received the bad news that their father, High Chief Gaisoa Seigafolava Ropati Pene had passed on.
“Our father, leader, High Chief, brother, cousin and best friend passed away and he’s survived by his wife, Cita and two children."
"We understand dad’s heart for the people and because of this, we decided to start the GSR Pene Foundation for the purpose of carrying on his legacy of caring for those less fortunate and encouraging the youth to aim for greater heights" said the younger Pene.
High Chief Gaisoa was a leader among leaders as he lived to serve his family and community as best as he knew. “He was a respected community leader, and most of all, cherished by his wife, children, and family."
“Dad encouraged us to enjoy our education and do the best we can — to be the best in the classroom."
"He had the same message for me in my athletic endeavors. Both my sister Betty Pene Bokesh and I took dad and mom’s encouragement to heart, as we were honor roll students, leaders on campus, and received academic scholarships to universities in America," he said.
“My sister was the “brainiac” between the two of us, while I took the torch in the athletics department. My sister went on to become the Valedictorian of her high school graduating class, while serving as the student body president, cheerleading captain, island wide winner in both Math and English competitions, eventually graduating with honors from Seattle University.
 “Needless to say, dad and mom were extremely proud of her academic accomplishments”.
Rob added that his path led him to Australia with the American Samoa National Baseball team, only to be offered an athletic scholarship to Spring Arbor University in Michigan. He represented American Samoa at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, was an Academic All-American baseball player in college, made the USA/NAIA All-Star Team upon graduating with honors from college, played professional baseball in Europe and the US, then signed numerous players and allowed them to continue their baseball career through his own Baseball Company.
“Needless to say, baseball was really good to me, and dad and mom were also proud of their baby boy. And I share our story with you because, the same way that Dad encouraged us to work hard and be the best, he also spent time with us, talking with us through our education and my athletic approaches. He mentored us, guided us, while giving us the support we needed. And with the GSR Pene Foundation, Inc, we wanted to be for other students  what Dad was to us," he explained.
Rob noted that the Pene family goal is to scale up to offer more next year and include some Island Wide Academic scholarships as well.
Deadline for submission: June 7, 2013
The Baseball / Softball Scholarship is currently our only island-wide scholarship available. Applicants can submit your application documents online http://gsrpenefoundation.org or http://facebook.com/GSRPeneFoundation
Requirements: Minimum GPA of 3.0
SAT Score Submission
College Acceptance Letter (scan or take a photo)
Letter of Recommendation from a Teacher, Counselor, Coach, or Mentor
Personal Leadership Essay:  “What does Leadership look like?”
The Dream Big Scholarship is an academic scholarship offered to students of Samoana High School (the alma mater of Betty and Robert Pene).  
Applicants can submit your application attachment documents online http://gsrpenefoundation.org or  http://facebook.com/GSRPeneFoundation Requirements:
Minimum GPA of 3.0
SAT Score Submission
College Acceptance Letter (scan or take a photo)
Letter of Recommendation from a Teacher, Counselor, or Mentor
Personal Leadership Essay:  “What does Leadership look like?”


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