New scholarship established for students of Cape Verdean descent

Sep 9, 2022

A new scholarship has been established for high school graduates of Cape Verdean descent from several southeastern Massachusetts schools, including Wareham High School.

The SouthCoast Community Foundation announced on Monday, Aug. 29 the establishment of the Manuel S. Pina Scholarship Fund. The fund was created by his son, Manny Pina Jr., in honor of the late Pina Sr.’s 100th birthday, which would have been on Sept. 4, 2022.

The fund will provide scholarships to qualified high school graduates of Cape Verdean descent from Wareham High School, Old Rochester Regional High School and New Bedford High School, per a press release. The scholarships will be released starting in 2023, with awards of $10,000 made during the Community Foundation Scholarship season to support recipients over four years.

A buffet dinner fundraiser will be held to raise money for the fund from 6-11 p.m. on Sept. 16 at White’s of Westport. The event will feature music by the Bluenotes, and tickets can be purchased by calling Manny Pina (508-509-9345), Lorraine Telo (508-776-5475), or Celia's Boutique (508-525-9490).

“Manny Pina’s work to uplift students of Cape Verdean descent in our region is an exemplary model of what it means to give back,”  said Leonard M. Lee, president and CEO of the SouthCoast Community Foundation, in the release. “We are humbled he chose the Community Foundation to help him with his philanthropic goals in support of the educational dreams of Cape Verdean students.”

“All the way back to grandfather, Serifim,” Manny Pina Jr. said, “ the Pina family has believed that education leads to a better life. Unfortunately, for my father, scholarships were not available even though he was valedictorian of his class. This Fund is my way of helping to ensure that never happens to another Cape Verdean student.”

Manuel Pina Sr. graduated valedictorian of his Wareham High School class of 1940, and he later joined the army. While serving, Pina Sr. earned a degree from the University of Alaska in 1961, and he later became the first Cape Verdean to reach the rank of colonel, per the release.