Ko‘olaupoko Scholars Aiming At Professional, Cultural Work

Ko'olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club awarded scholarships July 2 to five students from Windward Oahu as part of its annual effort to give educational support to area youths. Recipients are (from left) Desiree De Costa, Ashley Sonoda, Shane Nainoa Kahale and Tashina Kapeka Forges. Not pictured: Malia Paresa. Photo from Janine Tully.

Ko’olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club awarded scholarships last month to five area students based on their academic records, personal goals, financial need, letters of recommendation and community service.

Held at Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center in Kaneohe, the ceremony honored Desiree De Costa, Tashina Kapeka Forges, Shane Nainoa Kahale, Malia Paresa and Ashley Sonoda.

“We are quite pleased with the range of interests and backgrounds of this year’s students,” stated the club’s education committee chairwoman Cheryl Prince. “Their stories are inspiring in their determination to follow their dreams by continuing their education.”

Below is a taste of what the 2013 scholars are up to.

* De Costa will attend UH-Manoa this fall to study biology with the goal of pursuing a career in pharmacology.

* Forges, who has an associate degree from Windward Community College, will pursue her bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian studies and art at UH-Manoa. She also recently won an award for a story published in WCC’s literary magazine.

* Kahale, a student at Honolulu Community College in the Fire Science and Environmental Emergency Response program, also works in construction full-time.

* Paresa is in her second year at Colorado State University in the Professional Veterinary Medicine program. As a Native Hawaiian, she aims to combine her studies with her cultural heritage.

* Sonoda recently earned a WCC associate of arts degree and will enter UHManoa in the fall to study biology, then move on to UH-Hilo for a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

The club raises money for the scholarships throughout the year, including its annual garage sale and club dinner – both of which are coming up in August.

For more information, visit koolaupokohcc.org.