Two college friends both experienced the impacts of cancer on the lives of a family member and wanted to make a difference for those who have been affected by this devastating disease.
Born and raised in the state of Hawaii, Rhett Kikuyama moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a dream and aspirations of a higher education. During his time in New York, he met many individuals from different walks of life while attending college and working at Consolidated Edison Company of New York. However, in 2009 – roughly a year and half after moving – his perspective on life would change. His step-father was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and after a 19-month battle, he passed away in 2011. Having seen first-hand the financial and emotional impact cancer can have on an individual, their family and friends, he made it a goal to help create a community of support for those impacted by this disease.
Natallia Diliberti was born and raised in Belarus and immigrated to the United States in 2003. She has been in the banking industry for over four years, providing lending assistance to those seeking the American Dream to own a home. Natallia has always had a passion to educate others and share her knowledge and experiences with them. She is a proud member of the Financial Women Association, where she has been volunteering to teach financial literacy to high school students and has served as a mentor for the past 6 years. In 2014, her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer and is currently undergoing radiation treatment in New York City.
Rhett and Natallia met in the fall of 2008 while attending Baruch College – City University of New York. Over the next couple of years, their friendship grew tremendously as they had both witnessed the tragic effects of cancer on their loved ones. In February 2015, through their experiences and passion for giving back to the community and helping out children, Natallia and Rhett became the founders of the non-profit organization known as LIFE Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
The mission of the organization is:
• To create higher education opportunities for cancer patients and/or survivors and their families by providing financial support to attend accredited colleges and universities within the state of New York;
• To educate the community on the basics of a healthy lifestyle and financial literacy to help individuals make informed decisions in these vital aspects of their lives;
• To inspire and empower applicants to help the community and make a difference in other people’s lives by participating in community service and volunteering for local organizations within the state of New York.
Our Board Members
Rhett Kikuyama is a co-founder and serves as the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of LIFE Scholarship Foundation, Inc. In addition to his role at the organization, he has spent the last 14 years working in the energy/utility sector for Hawaiian Electric Company, Consolidated Edison Company of New York and, most recently, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. He sees great value in giving back to the community and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams of a higher education. Further, he is an advocate of preventive care and encourages everyone to have a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle. Rhett graduated from Baruch College – City University of New York with honors in Operations Management.
Natallia Diliberti is a co-founder and serves as the Chief Financial Officer of LIFE Scholarship Foundation, Inc. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Baruch College – City University of New York. She is a member of the Financial Women Association (FWA) and has been mentoring high school and college students for the past 6 years. Natallia received her certificate as a Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2013 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Higher Education. Natallia’s dream is to see LIFE Scholarship Foundation provide various services to the cancer community and help students throughout their college career to succeed in life despite the challenges and experiences with cancer.
Doreen Kageura was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Prior to joining the Board at LIFE Scholarship Foundation, Inc., she served as the Executive Secretary to the Sr. Vice President of Operations at Hawaiian Electric Company for nine years. Her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2009 and sadly passed away in March 2011. Her husband believed in the benefits of obtaining a higher education and helping the community and Doreen is hoping to continue on his legacy and honor her husband’s memory by helping cancer patients and/or survivors in achieving their dreams of higher education.
Marina Moiseyeva serves as the Vice-President of LIFE Scholarship Foundation, Inc. Marina is a practicing Registered Nurse, Certified Lifestyle Educator and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. In August 2015, she received her Master’s degree in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She is passionate about holistic health and integrative nutrition and committed to delivering high-quality patient-centered evidence-based holistic primary care focusing on prevention. Also, she conducts cooking workshops, offers healthy shopping tours, and works with adults and children to support them in achieving their goals, from eating nutritious foods to living an inspired, harmonious life.