LAHAINA - The room was buzzing with excitement as children and parents filed into the Sacred Hearts School cafeteria, eager to meet their future. It was standing room only, as every seat was filled at last week's first annual Keiki College & Career Night.
Representatives from many "walks of life" were there to demonstrate the varied career opportunities available to our keiki.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" is a question children often get asked - and at a very early age. It is never too early to start exploring, and this event was created to help kids get started and for parents to begin saving for the future.
Sequoia Pelletier-Yamasaki won a $500 college savings scholarship from The Mauian on Napili Bay at the event.
Representatives from the University of Hawaii Maui College (Recruiting, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Culinary, Educational Opportunity Center, Internships and the Lahaina campus); Lahainaluna High School (College and Career Counselor Kristy Arakawa and HOSA members); American Savings Bank; The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort (Sasha Tanaka); Starbucks (Anne Graybosch); The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua (Chef Mike Burman); Nurses Julita Bayudan and Marissa Layugan; Architect Dennis Harmon; Maui Police Department Officer Perry; Firefighter Keahi Ho; Realtor Mark Gartner; Sacred Hearts teachers; Father Gary Colton; NBC Sports Announcer Mark Rolfing; Photographer John Carpenter; Football Coaches Kalama, Ferdinan and Dre; Golf Coaches and Pros Dave Havens, Mike Jones and Laura Jones; Swimming Coach Tom; Softball Coaches Lei and Dennis; Basketball Coaches Alec and Dan; and Youth Groups (Kumulani Chapel and Calvary Chapel) all worked to provide keiki with a glimpse of the possibilities that lay ahead of them.
Children and parents from Sacred Hearts School, Lahaina Intermediate School, Princess Nahi'ena'ena Elementary School, King Kamehameha III School and Maui Preparatory Academy, among others, turned out in large numbers to plan for their future.
Twelve $500 college savings scholarships were given away at the event. Award recipients ranged from grades K-8 and were spread across a number of different Maui schools.
Congratulations to award winners Ka'ohe Sombelon-McEwen, Sequoia Pelletier Yamasaki, Ikaika Tihada Viela, AynMarie Eastridge, Anysis Fuentes, Lauren Brown, Richard Haney, Courtney Nishiyama, Cash Palma, Kristina Mau, Makenna Yap and Teisa Vehikite.
Representatives from American Savings Bank were present to set up 529 College Savings Plans for all award winners.
Sacred Hearts School and the community would like to thank the following scholarship donors, along with all the representatives of the various career paths and the folks at American Savings Bank.
Donors were Title Guarantee Escrow, The Mauian on Napili Bay, Minit Stop, The Mark and Debi Rolfing Foundation, Father Gary Colton, Goodfellow Brothers, Kaanapali Land Management, Johanna M. Childhouse, Paula and John Pope, LYC Boomvangers, and John Carpenter. In addition, we would like to thank Island Printing and Whalers Village for help with P.R. and marketing, and Royal Lahaina Resort for the use of their chairs and table cloths.
We look forward to next year's second annual Keiki College & Career Night.
Mahalo nui loa to all for making this event a huge success!