In her two years at USC, Jackie Owens competed on a NCAA top ten-rated team that won two conference championships and reached one Final Four.
Owens received the USC tennis program's Sportsmanship Award along with the Most Spirited Award this year, and she recently graduated with a degree in communications while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average to earn Summa Cum Laude honors.
She described her years at USC as one of the best experiences of her life.
"The friendships and memories are something I will remember for the rest of my life. Graduating from USC at the top of my class was a very proud moment for me and my family," she said.
"I owe everything to my parents. I really don't know if it would have been possible to achieve my dreams of playing D-I tennis at a prestigious university if it wasn't for them. They have supported me every step of the way, and I couldn't be more grateful for their encouragement and belief in me. From a very early age, they told me that anything could be possible if I set my mind to it and worked hard. I couldn't have asked for better role models."
Indeed, Jackie's mom and dad are the workforce of Key to Life Chiropractic, which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary serving the people of Maui with holistic, naturopathic medical care. The positive energy they dispense is felt immediately entering their offices in Lahaina and Kahului, as Dr. Greg lives up to his nickname of "Dr. Hugs" with a bearlike embrace, and he and Bernadette greet patients with a sincere smile and acknowledgment. The results of their treatments and advice - ranging from diet and herbal supplements to shoes and beds - are supported by the stream of returning patients at both offices.
During her senior year at USC, Jackie worked as an intern with the NFL Network in pursuit of another goal and dream in her life. After graduating, she was hired as a production assistant for NFL Network in Los Angeles and helps produce such programs as "NFL Total Access," "Around the League" and football highlights on Sundays.
"I am totally obsessed with football, and I'm glad that I have been able to combine my love for the sport and my passion for journalism into my career," she said.
Jackie's boyfriend for the last three years is Abe Markowitz, a former Punahou School all-state football player. Markowitz played at USC and is now playing for the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League.
Jackie has also produced work for FOX News, Hawaii News Now, the Tennis Channel and The Maui News.
"Being away from home really makes me appreciate our beautiful island and community even more. There really is no place like home. The family atmosphere and support I experience when I go back to visit is something I will treasure forever. As I get older, I realize just how special it is to have grown up in Lahaina, and I wouldn't have traded my childhood for anything. Even though I am in L.A., I will always consider myself as a Maui girl. Growing up in such a close-knit community is something that I am very grateful for," she said.
And so the dream continues for the Owens family - the "key to life;" the pathway to happiness and success represented in the positive nature within their spirits; the exemplary manifestation of sincere parenting and family values. Dream on!