South Pacific Islander Organization Launches

Palm Tree

Empowering Pacific Islander Excellence Through Educational Initiatives

Pacific Islanders, individuals of Polynesian, Micronesian and Melanesian descent, represent a small yet remarkably diverse group of indigenous people who are not well represented in higher education. While only making up 1.5 million of the U.S. population, Pacific Islanders are one of the fastest growing minority groups in the United States.

South Pacific Islander Organization hopes to address the growing needs of the Pacific Islander community through educational initiatives. With Pacific Islander graduation rates well below the national average, South Pacific Islander Organization will offer free mentorship and scholarships to Pacific Islander high school students.

Marushka Raimere Hirshon & her mother, Elisabeth Leontieff-Hirshon


As a Polynesian who grew up navigating the nearly inexistent educational resources for islanders, I am interested in creating strong college access & success pipelines for Pacific Islander students.

-Founder, Marushka Raimere Hirshon

Marushka Raimere Hirshon is a Tahitian-born & Los Angeles/Chicago-raised Stanford alumna. She worked at Stanford's Office of Undergraduate Admission and Office of Student Affairs. She is a 2014 Stanford Award of Excellence and 2018 Stanford Student Affairs Team Impact Award recipient. She currently serves on the board of the Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni Club and participates in the National Pacific Islander Education Network. She hopes to make college admission information more accessible to Pacific Islander students. 

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