LAHAINA - With a keen eye on fostering a positive future, the Lahainaluna High School ohana and Maui community have once again taken the initiative to help finance higher education for the current graduating class, as 53 seniors were honored at a ceremony held last week in the school cafeteria.
The Senior Scholarship & Awards Program recognized the Class of 2014 as the recipients of some $800,000 in financial aid toward their college education. The program has been coordinated for 13 years by Lahainaluna's College and Career Center Guidance Counselor Kristy Arakawa, who has quietly led hundreds of families through the enormous task of navigating the financial aid process toward a college or trade school education.
"Over the years, there have been classes that received over a million dollars in scholarship awards, and in other years the totals were much less," noted Arakawa last week from her office in the center of the historic campus.
"This year, the local scholarships will total about $800,000, and this does not count the awards the graduates will receive from the schools they have chosen to attend."
Lahainaluna Student Activities Coordinator Art Fillazar was the master of ceremonies at the event. Principal Emily De Costa began the program with her opening remarks.
"Uncle Fil" then began introducing the long list of scholarship donors up to the stage to make the exciting presentations.
As has become the tradition over the years, Sara Gadarian began the presentations with the Blackie Gadarian Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded in honor of her late husband.
She was followed to the podium by presenters for the following individuals and organizations: Lahaina-Honolua Senior Citizens Club, Lahaina Complex Tutor Project, West Maui Community Federal Credit Union, Sergeant James S. Kusuda Memorial, Maureen Setsuko Ariyoshi Memorial, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Alfred Sarian Memorial, Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Kaanapali Land Management, Bank of Hawaii, Boss Frog's Dive & Surf, Central Pacific Bank, Ebrahaim Alber Gabbay M.D. Memorial, Ilocandia Filipino Store, Fred Izumi '52 Legacy, H&K Takenaga Legacy, Imi Na'auao, Lahainaluna High School Foundation, Tadashi Sato Memorial, Roy & Betty Sakamoto, RVN Restaurant, Steven R. Strong M.D. Memorial, Territorial Savings Bank, TS Restaurants, Valley Isle Community Federal Credit Union, West Maui Veterans' Club, Dr. Brendan Krause Chiropractic, Masters at Kaanapali Blaze Kalilikane, Makana Aloha Foundation, Shigeru & Toyoko Ichiki Endowed, Front Street, Rotary Club of Lahaina, Lahaina Rotary Youth Foundation, Ted Tabura & Japan Karate Shotokai, Oscar Chihara Memorial Football, Noboru Wakida, Friends of Lahainaluna Football, Lahainaluna PTSA, Maui AJA Veterans, 2014 Longs Senior, Soroptimist International of West Maui, AYSO Region 892 Volunteer, Foodland Shop for Higher Education, Laura Rowe Burdick Foundation, Kelsi Kaahui & Chanse Uyeda Memorial Wrestling, and Garner Ivey Wrestling.
Rounding out the presentations were Hawaii Alpha Delta Kappa Omicron Chapter, Harvard Book Award, Mamoru & Aiko Takitani Foundation, Graceland University Athletic, David Malo, A&T Ichiyasu Family, Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku, and Honors & Awards.
All of the fabulous 53 recipients received flower lei on stage with the presentation of their scholarship awards. The smiling procession of honored seniors included Tyrone Jay Agbayani, Maile Altier, Maile Amine, Kamaka Barbosa Pamat, Derrick Becker, Lauren Bedard, Itzia Berry, Ho'ola'ikeao Cabanilla, Makena Carbajal, Dustin Casco DeLeon, Christian Cesar, Kaegil Babes Concepcion, Jessa Emmerich, Kayla Ewing, Juleen Flory, Arlnjy Fontanos, Rachelle Fushikoshi, Pousima Galoia, Karen Galuardo, Taylor Garde, Kirsten Gilchrist, Candace Hanneman, Alicia Huliganga, Harry "Bubba" Jaramillo Jr., Corben Kaikkonen, Bronson Kaina, Taylor Kiko Kohler Fonohema, Stephanie Lawless, Lizelle Joviflor Lazaro, Melissa Jane Lazarte, Rose Millard, Zoe Miller, Kawna Murray, Aaron Naea, Kimberlie Nguyen, Jesselie Olpindo, Sierra Olvera, Jansen Panlasigui Domingo, Paige Pasion, Lithe Pokipala Waiohu, Jared Purdy, Sherilynn Ramelb, Kailey Sager, Estela Sanchez, Kelsey Shultz, Nainoa Steward, Anna Tillman, Justin Tinao, Marison Topinio, Mary Eileen Varquez, Lorilei Visitacion, Christian Whitehead and Breea Yamat.
Congratulations to the Class of 2014 scholarship recipients, and a sincere mahalo to Kristy Arakawa and all of the supporters and donors to this vital program.