July 11, 2010; Source: Star-Advertiser | Getting into college might be a little harder for Hawaiian students from low-income families. On July 31 a nonprofit that helps youth that have a more difficult time than their more affluent peers preparing for college is shutting its doors.

Started 11 years ago, College Connections Hawaii lost about $400,000 in key grant funds in 2010 and can no longer stay in operation. Board Vice President Amy Hennessey said that the closing of College Connections, which helped thousands of students get into college, is “really sad for us.”

To cope with funding cuts, the organization tried over the past several months to trim expenses. But with only four full-time employees and 20 part-time tutors, there was only so much the group could do before realizing that it was time to pull the plug. Over the years, College Connections provided free tutoring and SAT test preparation and served students in more than 100 public schools.

Hennessey says she hopes that other organizations that provide similar services can fill any holes College Connections’ departure creates. She also hopes “the vision of the organization lives on in the students we helped.”—Bruce Trachtenberg