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Waipahu High Students Are Cooking Up Success

Sharing Notes…Sen. Michelle Kidani

Waipahu High School continues to shine

We always are happy to brag about the accomplishments of students and teachers at our area high schools.

Earlier this year, I attended a luncheon meeting at the Bankers Club at First Hawaiian Bank in downtown Honolulu where I was surprised and delighted to learn that the club’s kitchen and dining room were staffed in part by five students from the Waipahu High School Culinary Arts Academy.

This exciting internship program with grant support from First Hawaiian began in 2006, allowing WHS students to gain experience in a wide variety of settings. They staff the bank’s employee cafeteria to learn food prep and bulk cooking, and then move on to the Bankers Club’s fine-dining setting, where they train as hosts and wait help, as well as in baking, hot food station and pantry jobs.

The culinary academy is one of a half-dozen smaller WHS learning communities that teach students life skills to supplement their classroom studies. Congratulations to teacher Elaine Matsuo for encouraging and mentoring academy students!

Waipahu High also has received a major gift from the McInerny Foundation that will help its Early College Program in the coming years. The foundation presented WHS principal Keith Hayashi with a check for $250,000 that will be used to pay tuition for those who take courses taught by professors from their partner institutions – Leeward Community College and UH West Oahu.

This is the only program of its kind available to high school students in Hawaii. In the past two years, dozens of students have enrolled in introductory college courses in English, psychology, speech, sociology, astronomy and calculus.

Mark your calendars for Children and Youth

One of the year’s most popular FREE events for families is about three weeks away. I hope you will take time to participate in the 20th annual Children and Youth Day Sunday, Oct. 6, at the state Capitol, Honolulu Hale and several other sites in the downtown civic center.

Activities range from 1K and 3K fun runs for youngsters, to a robotics Olympics in the Capitol Auditorium and a Brown Bags to Stardom All-Star Show at City Hall, to fascinating educational tours at Iolani Palace and the state Judiciary History Center. Join us for a full day of family activities, games and rides, nonstop entertainment, and food booths, of course.

You’ll find information about parking, shuttles and other logistics online at https://hawaiicyd.org.

See you there!

9-11 anniversary noted

This week’s observances of the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. are an opportunity for us to pause and remember those who perished – including the half-dozen or so Hawaii residents in New York that terrible day – and their families whose lives were changed forever in just a few hours.

Even as the ground zero memorial to 9-11 victims and the Freedom Tower in New York are nearing completion, we need look no further than today’s headlines to realize that many parts of the world are still in turmoil, and that for too many people, peace and security remain an elusive goal.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who, through no fault of their own, are subjected to needless injury and suffering.

State Sen. Kidani represents District 18 (Mililani Town, portions of Waipio Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia) Contact her at her Capitol office, Room 228, 586-7100, or email her at SenKidani@Capitol.Hawa ii.gov.