We all know students who care for themselves and their community, honor their culture and their kuleana, and value their home place but rarely are there opportunities to publicly recognize these students. Most awards look at a student's potential for future success because of their grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. The Islander Scholars Program is unique in that we are supporting students, not just for who they might become, but for who they are now.
In this third year, principals from 40 public and charter schools from seven islands selected one outstanding junior to be their school’s Islander Scholar. Principals were given the autonomy and privilege of selecting one student for their character, compassion, resilience, wellbeing, aloha, and actions that demonstrate these values every day. From June 1 to 3, 2018, we will convene these students in an intensive and life-changing experience to connect them with one another, explore their kuleana, learn from distinguished community mentors, and meet Islander Scholars from the past two years.
Islander Scholars is coordinated by Islander Institute in partnership with Mālama Learning Center and a Dream Team of facilitators. For more information on this program, please contact Laurie(at)islanderinstitute.com.
In the second year of the program, 28 students from six islands came together to form the 2017 Islander Scholars.
The 2017 Class of Islander Scholars Kauaʻi
D'Annalyn Helgen, Waimea High School
Michael Perreira, Kauaʻi High School
Ufi Ale, Aiea High School
Lilianne Au, Kalani High School
Mahina Bachiller, Pearl City High School
Rayna Benzaken, Kaiser High School
Shane Enriquez, Kapolei High School
Rene Hutchins, Castle High School
Ma'alaea Kanealakala, Kaiser High School
Makani Kauweloa-Pilialoha, Nanakuli High & Intermediate School
Ku'umauliola Kawelo, Kula Kaiapuni Hawai'i 'o Kahuku Academy
Kamalei Krug, Ke Kula Kaiapuni 'o 'Anuenue
Karlee Manding, Waipahu High School
J-Zen Napierala-Rose, Kamaile Academy
Paisley Richards, Halau Ku Mana
Buddha Sana, Wai'anae High School
Duke Takeno, University Laboratory School
Milinanea Clarabal, Lānaʻi High & Elementary School
Camryn Ban, Maui High School
Lolo Bekkum, Hana High & Elementary School
Roland Afaga, Jr., Honoka'a High & Intermediate School
Gabby Barrientos-Navalta, Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School
Loa Haleamau, Ke Kula 'Ehunuikaimalino
Izzy Kawasaki, West Hawaiʻi Explorations Academy Public Charter School
Johnna Marsh, Kanu o ka ʻĀina New Century Public Charter School
Treyson Moke, Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu
2016 inaugural scholar class
In 2016, Mālama Learning Center, in partnership with our friends at Islander Institute, launched the inaugural year ofIslander Scholars, a special honor for public high school juniors who exemplify the values that we love about Hawai'i! We invited public school principals at traditional and charter high schools statewide to select one junior in their school to be an Islander Scholar based on six comprehensive learning outcomes rooted in Hawaiʻi's culture and environment. These outcomes, called Nā Hopena Aʻo or HĀ, include a strengthened sense of Belonging; Responsibility; Excellence; Aloha; Total Well-Being; and Hawaiʻi, spelling out BREATH, which we know as HĀ. We asked principals to select students who exemplify these characteristics through their actions in school, community, and families to be their school's Islander Scholar.
For our first class, we selected 16 Islander Scholars from Kaua'i, Lāna'i, Hawai'i Island, and O'ahu who came together on June 3 to 5 at our home at Camp Pālehua for the culminating event of this program, the Islander Scholars Academy. There, they grounded themselves in the place and mo'olelo of Pālehua, explored their kuleana as individuals and together, and built lasting relationships. The students' diverse backgrounds, as well as the creative ideas of the seminar leaders, led to a deep, rich, and life-changing experience for everyone involved. Now seniors at their respective high schools, the Islander Scholars have the tools and support to lead their peers and even adults, as we all search for better ways to live as Islanders.
The 2016 Class of Islander Scholars Kauaʻi
Robyn Acob, Waimea High School
Bailey Mackenzie, Kauaʻi High School
Nathalie Alomar, Kapolei High School
Trey Garcia, Kamaile Academy
Austin Hashimoto, Waiʻānae High School
Camryn Kaina, University Laboratory School
Andrew Kaufusi, Kaiser High School
Josiah Nahinu, Nānākuli High & Intermediate School
Kaʻulawena Perez-Wasson, Kula Kaiapuni Hawaiʻi ʻo Kahuku Academy
Parker Szelag, Lānaʻi High & Elementary School
Alexandria Tyau, Maui High School
Patrick Williams, King Kekaulike High School
Aurelia Hart, Kanu o ka ʻĀina New Century Public Charter School
Jaylyn Mahoe-Subica, Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School
Kamalukea Moke, Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu
Justin Texeira, West Hawaiʻi Explorations Academy Public Charter School
Pauline Sato led an interpretive hike on the Palikea Trail
for the Islander Scholars
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