The Power of One™ .

Trustpoint’s Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month Feature


Trustpoint’s very own Jennifer Peru Gary, Managing Partner based in Washington, DC, is a proud Native Hawaiian and serves on the Board of Asian Pacific Islander American Scholars (APIA). Jennifer was born and raised in Waialua, Hawai’i on O’ahu’s North Shore and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She then went on to receive her Juris Doctorate from Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she was the recipient of the Dean’s Merit Scholarship, as well as an annual scholarship from the Native Hawaiian Higher Education Program (NHHEP) funded by Kamehameha Schools Bernice Puahi Bishop Estate.

Jennifer is the first member on both sides of her family to graduate from college, and then law school. She shared that one of the many reasons that she feels so honored to serve on APIA’s Board is that the scholarship she received from the NHHEP during law school was truly life changing for her. She would have had to take out student loans to pay for law school, but for the scholarships she received. Being the beneficiary of resources dedicated to Native Hawaiian students’ successful completion of higher education programs provided Jennifer with the freedom to choose her career path out of law school. Unlike many of her fellow law school classmates, who graduated with debt the size of home loans and who felt compelled to work for law firms to begin paying off their debt, Jennifer was able to apply for and accept a position with the Attorney General Honors Program and begin her career as a federal prosecutor with the Department of Justice right out of law school – an opportunity that she will forever be grateful for and that she says was the best training ground that every trial attorney dreams of! Sadly, during Jennifer’s last year of law school, the NHHEP lost its funding, so the Class of 2000 were the last beneficiaries of those resources, highlighting the critical need for organizations like APIA Scholars to ensure the continued provision of much-needed resources to AANHPI students in higher education.

APIA Scholars is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year – an incredible milestone. Over the past 20 years, APIA Scholars has awarded 8,000 scholarships to APIA students in higher education in all 50 states and US territories, published 19 research reports, and collaborated with 33 AANAPISIs. AANHPI students are often overlooked and under-resourced, and APIA provides APIA students with access to higher education and resources that cultivate their academic, personal and professional success, regardless of their ethnicity, national origin or financial means. Of the students APIA serves, 65% are first generation college students and 70% live below or at the poverty line. The scholarships, programs and mentoring provided to APIA students is only possible through the generous donations and support of APIA Scholars’ donors and selfless volunteers.

If you would like to make a contribution to APIA Scholars in honor of AANHPI Heritage Month and in support of Jennifer’s Board service with this very important nonprofit organization, you may do so here. Jennifer says, “Mahalo nui loa” (thank you very much) in advance for any contribution that you are willing to make, as APIA Scholars is very near and dear to her heart!