Aloha Will Save the World 2021
Courtney Yamaguchi is a graduate of Waiakea High School. She will be attending Menlo College, and her career goal is to become a Hawaiian Studies Teacher or a Secondary School Teacher. She is a competitive canoe paddler for both high school and club season. She is involved in Junior Achievement and participated in a Teacher internship at Waiakea Elementary School. “Aloha isn’t just being kind, it is showing respect to your peers, respecting the aina, cleaning up after yourself, paying it forward, and knowing your role in the community.”
Kamuela Rapoza is a Kamehameha Schools Hawaii graduate and will be pursuing a career as a firefighter. Kamuela is a dedicated paddler and football player. “If everyone showed Aloha, there would be so much love and compassion in the world. It is definitely the heart and spirit of Hawaii. I will continue to exemplify Aloha in my life and want to make an impact in my community by becoming a firefighter.” We wish Kamuela well in all of his future endeavors!
Cody Stephenson is a graduate of Hilo High School and will be attending the University of Hawaii at Hilo, to pursue a career as an electrical engineer. During his high school years, Cody was Class Board of Director for Key Club, Vice President of External Affairs for Hilo Viking Robotics, and a photographer for his high schoolʻs “KVIKS TV”. We are excited to see Cody thrive in his continued education and adulthood!
Cassidy Denault is a Waiakea High School graduate, graduating with a GPA of 4.2! She plans to pursue a career as a Conservation Biologist at Seattle University. She intends to study environmental science, focusing on conservation biology and ecosystem restoration, to ultimately work promoting sustainability. She plans to return to Hawaiʻi upon graduating college. “I hope to holomua our efforts to protect and understand the unique ecosystems of Hawaiʻi.”
Rio Chopot is a graduate of Waiakea High School and will be attending the University of Hawaii at Hilo, to pursue a career in the automotive industry. In Rioʻs essay, when asked, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?”, Rio said he would want to be a “Human Spring”, to produce drinking water from his hands. With the superpower, Rio would supply homeless people and animals in need with clean drinking water. He would also use his power to put out forest fires.
Rachel Leilani Gangwes 2021
Jolynn Cobile is a kanaka, born and raised in Naʻalehu-Pahala, Kaʻū. She has an ʻohana of her own, four Keiki, ages 1-9 years of age. She is currently enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in the RN-BSN pathway. Her ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner in Hospice and Palliative Care. “I am determined to continue to provide education, lead by example and focus on working hard now to leave a lasting legacy for our future Keiki who are the present and future leaders of our world.”