Last year we announced the creation of the Paubox Kahikina Scholarship during our second annual Paubox SECURE conference.
The primary objective of the Paubox Kahikina Scholarship is to encourage Native Hawaiians to pursue careers in computer science and software development.
The Paubox Kahikina Scholarship is recurring in nature. In other words, recipients receive $1,000 per year until they graduate (5 year maximum). As such, our 2019 recipient Nick Wong will also be receiving $1,000 this summer.
This year, I am pleased to announce we have expanded from one recipient per year to three.
Here are the 2020 Paubox Kahikina Scholarship recipients:
- Alyssa Lyman: Purdue University, Computer Science major
- Kobe Lilio: George Fox University, Computer Engineering major
- Lauren Kwee: Harvard University, Computer Science major
Alyssa is entering her Sophomore year at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. A computer science major, she endeavors to become an astronaut and be the first Native Hawaiian in space.
Alyssa is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools.
Kobe will be entering George Fox University in the fall as an incoming Freshman. He intends to pursue Computer Engineering as his major.
Kobe is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools Maui. He also the recipient of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation Ambassador of Aloha Scholarship.
Lauren will be attending Harvard University as a Freshman this fall. A Straight-A student in high school, she has already completed Harvard’s online CS50: Introduction to Computer Science and MIT’s Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python courses.
Lauren is a graduate of Punahou Schools.
We used Scholars App this year to amplify our scholarship reach.
As a result, we ended up with a 12x boost in applicants.
Paubox Origin Story
The idea for Paubox came to me during a lunch meeting with Siana Austin Hunt at Lucky Belly in Honolulu’s Chinatown.
During her time as CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Hawaii, Siana needed a bespoke, HIPAA compliant file sharing solution. As it was described to me over lunch that day, I felt I could create a viable solution for them.
After shipping the initial solution and learning more about HIPAA compliance in general, I began to expand my horizons on what was possible in the world of regulated industries.
More specifically, HIPAA compliant email felt badly broken to me.
Why was there so much friction involved in reading a HIPAA compliant, secure email? Why did every product have a portal, a separate app to download, or confusing encryption key that required installation?
Something within me knew there was a better, more user-focused solution. I just needed to sit and figure it out.
When it reached the point where I could think of little else, I pulled an all-niter at Kissaten Coffee Bar on Piikoi Street and wrote the first version of Paubox.
Paubox v1.0 incorporated a seamless encryption method where sender and recipient alike weren’t required to change their behavior.
In a nutshell, we focused on the transit encryption aspect of email and figured out a way to deliver a secure email straight to a recipient’s inbox, without any portals, app downloads, or encryption key installs.
For the customer, we encrypt every email, from every device, and for every user in their organization. And we do so by default, so there was no chance for user error in determining what needed to be encrypted or not.
In essence, we flipped the entire notion of secure email on its head: Rather than take a special action to send a secure email, Paubox did it for you, without any change in the sender’s behavior.
As would prove to be a trend, I quickly discovered the market did not take Hawaii, or any software from Hawaii, as a legitimate business solution.
“How is this solution 10 times better than what Google or Microsoft have? What are you doing in Hawaii? I think you surf all day and I think this is a gimmick.” (hangs up)
I moved to San Francisco in early 2015 to grow Paubox and have not looked back.
There is more work to do. More to create. More to prove. For myself and all of Hawaii.