2018 islander scholars
Islander Scholars is so much more than an award; it is a life-changing experience that connects us to each other, deepens our learning of ʻāina and kuleana, and reveals our gifts and growth.
All 38 of the 2018 Class of Islander Scholars gathered at Camp Pālehua in Kapolei, Oahu from June 1 to 3, 2018 to expand their identities as islanders and leaders of their school communities.
At Pālehua, we hiked to Nānākuli lookout and asked ourselves, “What’s the difference being in a place and being OF a place?” We explored these answers by helping Mālama Learning Center in their ongoing restoration efforts to clear invasive plants to make way for native species to grow. Throughout the weekend in small groups, we created a safe, nonjudgmental, intimate space to share the stories of our names, communities, and gifts to expand our understanding of our kuleana as islanders.
On the second day, we went on a huakaʻi to Mokauea Island and put our islander kuleana into practice by learning the moʻolelo of Keʻehi from Aunty Kēhaulani Kupihea of Hoʻolā Mokauea, exploring the reef for animals and limu with Uncle Wally Ito of Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo, learning to throw net with Uncle Scotty Garlough of Hoʻoulu ʻĀina, and taking a small but meaningful step toward healing the island and ourselves by removing invasives and planting natives.
On our last day together, we shared about the people we are, the people we are becoming, and the commitments we want to make to ourselves as the Islander Scholars head into their senior year of high school. We closed our weekend together in a celebration with the past 2016 and 2017 Islander Scholars and island leaders. Half of the 2016 and 2017 Islander Scholars returned to re-connect and honor their successors. Over the past year, we have seen them grow and unfurl, act on their kuleana, and continue being the amazing islanders that they are.
The 2018 Islander Scholars were each given a pendant of a koru, designed and made by Ahukini Kupihea, to symbolize the Islander Scholars and their continual journey to grow and move outward.
Janeil Famacion, Aiea High School
Madailein Miller, Castle High School
Joseph Roberto, Campbell High School
Kimberly Delos Santos, Farrington High School
Kekai Mahiʻai, Hālau Kū Māna
Iris Machado, Kaimuki High School
Tehina Misi, Kaiser High School
Azure-Paige Kaʻōpua, Kalāheo High School
Tianna Au, Kalani High School
Leea Boyce, Kamaile Academy
Franceddie Neru, Kapolei High School
Kalehuakea Kelling, Ke Kula ʻo Samuel M Kamakau Laboratory Public Charter School
Lanaki Sanford-Kalauli, Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻo Ānuenue
Ikaika Morgan, Kula Kaiapuni Hawaiʻi ʻo Kahuku Academy
Makamae Gomes-Madela, Moanalua High School
Logan Hansen, Nānākuli High & Intermediate School
Chanel Hunter, Pearl City High School
Kailee Jackson, University Laboratory School
Paiaʻala Wilcox-Molina, Waiʻanae High School
Ashlee Balignasay, Waipahu High School
Ka Mele Mano-Nakooka, Lānaʻi High & Elementary School
Tia Caulford, Baldwin High School
Jay Baptista, Lahainaluna High School
Hunter Nahoʻoikaika, Maui High School
Kaitlin DeRouin, Molokaʻi High School
Mailani Mahiʻai-Kuamoʻo, Hilo High School
DArtagnan Kunishige, Honokaʻa High & Intermediate School
Uʻilani Muller-Afong, Ke Kula ʻo ʻEhunuikaimalino
Kalaʻakea Aguiar, Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu
Kiele Glimane, Keaʻau High School
Roxie Umu, Kealakehe High School
Mekaila Pasco, Kohala High School
Alexios Smith, Konawaena High School
Zerasha-Rashan Carden, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School
Jareese Amaral, Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School
photos from the 2018 islander scholars academy
Mahalo to the following sponsors for their support of the 2018 Islander Scholars.
The HEI Charitable Foundation
Nā Lei Aloha Foundation
Harold K.L. Castle Foundation
Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association
Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association