2017 islander scholars
In June 2017, all 26 Islander Scholars came together for a weekend of learning, sharing, and fellowship. With Camp Pālehua in Honouliuli as our home for the weekend, we listened to each other’s stories, made commitments to our communities, and formed lasting friendships.
The Islander Scholars Academy began on Friday, June 2, by grounding ourselves in the place and stories of the ahupuaʻa of Honouliuli and a visit to the top of this land division, Mauna Kapu. There, each Scholar reflected on the importance that place plays in our island communities and to share about a place special to them. Scholars were guided by a team of facilitators from Islander Institute, Mālama Learning Center, and talented community leaders who care deeply about Hawaii’s future. In large and small groups, Islander Scholars wrestled with the question of “What does it mean to be an islander?” and their roles in caring for their island communities.
Part of becoming a leader in our community requires listening to ourselves in silent reflection and receiving feedback from others. On Saturday morning, Islander Scholars awoke early for a sunrise reflection at Lanikuhonua, where each were encouraged to reflect silently. Later that day, the inaugural 2016 class of Islander Scholars and community members joined the 2017 Islander Scholars for a day of work, connection, and celebration at Huilua Fishpond at Kahana Bay on the Windward side of Oʻahu. All cohorts of Islander Scholars, along with their guides and community members, worked together to move large rocks that will help build the wall of Huilua Fishpond. More important than individual ability, this work requires teamwork, a can-do attitude, and collective strength. We celebrated together in an awards ceremony, where each Scholar received a koru pendant specially created for them by Hawaiian artist Ahukini Kupihea, symbolizing the unfurling growth and strength of each student. During the ceremony, the 2016 and 2017 Islander Scholars from Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu, siblings Malu and Treysen Moke, performed in an impromptu and touching song and dance.
The weekend ended with each Islander Scholar sharing stories of their individual kuleana and making commitments to one another and their communities as they go into their senior year.
- Ufi Ale, Aiea High School
- Rene Hutchins, Castle High School
- Paisley Richards, Hālau Kū Māna
- Lilianne Au, Kalani High School
- Maʻalaea Kanealakala, Kaiser High School
- Rayna Benzaken, Kaiser High School
- J-Zen Napierala-Rose, Kamaile Academy
- Shane Enriquez, Kapolei High School
- Kamalei Krug, Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻo ʻĀnuenue
- Kuʻumauliola Kawelo, Kula Kaiapuni Hawaiʻi ʻo Kahuku Academy
- Makani Kauweloa-Pilialoha, Nānākuli High & Intermediate School
- Mahina Bachiller, Pearl City High School
- Duke Takeno, University Laboratory School
- Karlee Manding, Waipahu High School
- Buddha Sana, Waiʻanae High School
- Charlin Milinanea Clarabal, Lānaʻi High & Elementary School
- Roland Afaga Jr., Honokaʻa High & Intermediate School
- Johnna Marsh, Kanu o ka ʻĀina New Century Public Charter School
- Loa Haleamau, Ke Kula ‘o ‘Ehunuikaimalino
- Treysen Moke, Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu
- Gabby Barrientos-Navalta, Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School
- Izzy Kawasaki, West Hawaiʻi Explorations Academy Public Charter School
photos from the 2017 islander scholars academy
Mahalo to the following sponsors for their support of the 2017 Islander Scholars.
- Kamehameha Schools
- Alaska Airlines
- The Hawaiian Electric Companies and the HEI Charitable Foundation
- Stern Memorial Trust
- Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association
- JN Automotive