Alesha Ulu Makuakane and Katelyn Cadeauz Mitchell were selected as the recipients for the 2011 Ken Wicks Ka’u Chamber of Commerce Scholarship. Their essays are posted below:
Focus on Health & Nutrition for Kau
Education is a door to opportunities that can supply a future full of success. It can provide knowledge to pursue career aspirations and also provide experience to share throughout society and the community. By receiving a college education, I believe that I cannot only achieve my career goals, but more importantly, invest in the future of my community.
My family and I have lived in Kau for many generations. My ancestors were said to be reigning chiefs in this district before Kamehameha. As a Native of this land, I take it upon myself to reach out and connect with the people of Kau and serve the community just as my kupuna did before me. I have faith that I will be able to do this with a college education. Attending college has always been one of my main personal goals. I would like to major in health and human nutrition and someday become a certified dietician. My interest in nutrition was influenced by my own acts of being cautious about what I ate, exercising daily and reading labels so I could have a healthier lifestyle. By maintaining a balanced diet I have never felt more energized and confident in how I look inside and out, and this is what I want for the people of my district.
One of the reasons why I admire Kau is its undeveloped and untouched land. Here in Kau there are no fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King, or Jack in the Box. These fast food chains contain foods that are high in calories and fat which could cause people to be unhealthy and receive the risk of becoming obese. Since the presence of these kinds of food isn’t available all the time in Kau, it helps families cook homemade meals, which helps with practicing good nutrition. By becoming a dietician I will use my skills and knowledge to inform the people of this district how to use and eat the right food for a balanced diet. I would like to counsel them in the proper way to read labels, getting their daily caloric intake and getting the correct amount of foods from each food group. I want to advertise healthy nutrition because obesity has become a major health issue for all ages due to the intake of certain foods and lack of exercise.
By providing lessons on nutrition I could help Kau make healthier choices and take steps into a healthier future and become an improved neighborhood. Practicing good nutrition can ensure a longer, healthier and happier living and if I educate them, they will be able to enjoy life to its fullest.
I believe that I can impact this community and make a difference because of my education and my connection with the people of this district. My family ties here have made this community a part of me and who I am, and if I can help the lives here I can become a productive citizen of my community, society and country.
Teach Teens the Value of Education
As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to become a teacher. I never wanted to be an astronaut or a policewoman, just a teacher. Since I was a first grader sitting in my class, I’ve dreamed of teaching a group of students like my teacher taught me. I’m still interested in teaching and want to become an elementary school teacher, and I want to do it here in Kau.
I moved to Hawaii when I was six and entered Naalehu Elementary and Intermediate School as a first grader. Since then, I have attended Naalehu Elementary School, Konawaena Middle School, and Konawaena High School.
After I graduate from college, I plan on returning to Kau and teaching at Naalehu School. I had a wonderful experience there and I hope that I can have the positive effect on the students that my teachers once had on me. I hope to teach in a first or second grade classroom.
I also have a passion for leadership and am interested in becoming a principal as well. Working with the community and the families of students is rewarding because you can really strengthen ties between the school and the community. As a student leader, I have learned that a school with a strong community behind it is capable of anything.
Having grown up in Kau, I know how important education is to our youth. Many students in our district do not feel the need to finish high school and graduate, each for their own reason. I want to work on changing this attitude and get the teenagers to realize how valuable an education is.
By inspiring students at a young age to enjoy school, I think I can have a significant impact on their decisions about staying in school and graduation. While school is a learning environment, I believe that making it as fun as possible is important. I think that if students are not interested in what they are learning about, they will not try to do the best of their ability.
With the current economy and the importance of education, students need now more than ever a reason to be excited for school. I believe that the public school system in Hawaii does not put a strong enough emphasis on art, music and sports. I am going to be graduating soon and having been in the public school system my entire life. I think that I have not been exposed to enough art, music and sports. These subjects not only teach students lessons that they are not exposed to in their core classes, but also create a fun and healthy environment in school.