Class of 2021 Giving Goes On

Olivia Wedemeyer ’21 (right) led the Class of 2021 gift drive with support from classmates like Sydney Whittington ’21.

After helping organize Students for PunsUnited, Olivia Wedemeyer ’21 spearheaded a Senior Class gift drive to support a new endowed financial aid fund.

By Olivia Wedemeyer ’21

I was inspired to get involved with fundraising at Punahou after my Class Carnival in 2020. I grew so much closer to my classmates throughout the year of planning and during Carnival itself, and we were proud of how much was raised for financial aid. When I learned about ’21Together (which raised financial aid funds during the pandemic), the idea really resonated with me. I have been a Case Leader with the Case Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship since my sophomore year, and our group was so inspired by the ’21Together fund that we wanted to create an avenue for students to get involved.

We believe no one’s time at Punahou should be cut short due to external circumstances, so we started Students for PunsUnited, a student-based entrepreneurial fund in conjunction with ’21Together. The amazing parents and other donors who started the initial ’21Together fund once again offered support by contributing $25,000 into our newly launched ’21Together Financial Aid Endowed Fund, which is part of our Senior Class Gift. We’re kicking it off with a “Five for Five” campaign, where each member of our Class will give $5 to the fund annually for the next five years. As the fund grows, the earnings will be used for financial aid.

Jakob Dieffenbach ’21 made a five-year pledge to support the ’21Together fund.

To my peers, classmates and friends – this is a way for us to give back to a school that has given us so much. For many of us, Punahou wasn’t just a source of academic learning, but it’s where we learned who we want to be and what’s important to us. Contributing to the ’21Together Endowed Financial Aid Fund is how we can help give other students the opportunity to find out what they are passionate about through this wonderful community.

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