team Hawaiʻi Postsecondary Success Program Officer

Cheri Souza

Now is the time to strengthen Hawaiʻi’s diverse communities by investing in our young people. I am honored to be working in the community I grew up in and am inspired by the Foundation’s commitment to supporting positive changes that will last long into Hawaiʻi’s future.

Cheri Souza (she/her) joined Stupski Foundation in 2021 as the Hawaiʻi postsecondary success program officer. She leads the Hawaiʻi postsecondary success portfolio focused on holistic student support initiatives and work-based learning throughout the islands, with an emphasis on underrepresented students and rural communities. In her role, Cheri is committed to fostering partnerships and collaborations across the Hawaiian Islands to provide students with the access and support they need to realize their educational and career goals.

A proud product of the Hawaiʻi public education system and a lifelong resident of Oʻahu, Cheri is passionate about helping young people in Hawaiʻi discover their talents through education and work-based learning opportunities. Cheri brings to the Foundation more than 15 years of experience working in higher education. Through her work at community college, baccalaureate, and graduate institutions, she has had the opportunity to engage with students at public and private institutions in Hawaiʻi, California, and Washington state. Prior to joining the Foundation, Cheri led initiatives at the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges to improve the college-going rate of Hawaiʻi’s high school students. Her key programs and strategies included supporting work-based learning pathways, academic counseling, and developing student leaders.

Cheri is a recipient of the University of Hawaiʻi Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, and she was selected to participate in the University of Hawaiʻi President’s Emerging Leadership Program and the Hawaiʻi ACTE Emerging CTE Leaders Program. Cheri has also served as the NACADA Region 9 chair and is on the board of directors for ʻAlana Ke Aloha Krause Family Foundation.  

Cheri received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and Master in Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University before returning to Hawaiʻi to earn her doctorate in education from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her family and friends hiking or at the beach.