2013 Scholarship

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Dec 202013

Recipients for 2013:

  • Tyler Amaral
  • Kayla Andrade
  • Leah Velasco Cariaga
  • Donald Garo Jr.
  • Amber Leigh V. Hondonero
  • Benjamin Houghton
  • Gregory Kirk Javar Jr.
  • Marley Strand-Nicolaisen
  • Tiana Pascubillo
  • Louise Vivien B. Santos

The winner for our essay contest: “How will your education benefit the District of Kau?”

Tyler Amaral

A World Without Computers? Not In My Community!

Imagine a world where there are no computers, television, smart-phones, or anything electrical. Think about it, there would be no way to do the things people love to do, there would be no email, no YouTube, nothing to do with the Internet. How would people react? Thankfully, there are electronic devices, for now. But, what happens when they break? Who will be able to fix them? This is where my plan comes in. My plan will definitely help the town of Kau, by going to college to study computer and fix computers. With this information, I would love to teach people in my community how to use computers successfully and hopefully they will learn to love using computers. I would also like to offer a free or really cheap computer workshop so I can fix computers for everyone. I know that some may not be able to fix their computers because most of the stores charge a very high price. Hopefully this business will also make money as well.

The reason why I chose computers as a passion is because a lot of things are becoming computerized and if you don’t know how to use computers, then it will be very difficult to find a job. Another thing is that computers can be used for a variety of different purposes from doing research to writing a report to watching a movie. Keeping in touch with people all over the world using email and “skype.”

Since I like computers a lot, I decided to focus on that as a senior project. For my senior project, I needed to spend a minimum of 40 hours on something, and I figured that I could spend that much time fixing computers. So, after that I decided that, I had to figure out a good project so I would get approved. After thinking, I saw that a lot of people did not own computers in my community, so I decided that I would donate computers to the needy families of Kau. As of February 25, 2013, I was able to donate five computers, free of cost, to families that need them. These families vary in ethnicity, age, and yet, they all still need computers, because computers are universal. I donated a tower to the local youth group, and four complete systems (tower, monitor, cables, keyboard, mice) to four local families in Hawaii. One of those families is living in a bus. Another family is living with a grandmother in a foster home situation.

Other than that, I also plan to help set up weekly programs to help teach people about computers. I would generally like to teach a class of intermediate/high school age students and the senior citizens. I chose those two groups because the students are the right age to learn and retain information regarding computers. I chose the elderly because they might like to use their computers to keep in touch with their families via email and videoconferencing. I would like to teach the intermediate/high school age students basic computer skills such as maintenance, fixing, and maybe even simple web design. I would like to teach the elderly basic things such as running programs, email, and maybe even basic computer maintenance.

I will also continue to donate regularly to the needy families of Hawaii. I will also love to work at the local elementary or high school as a computer technician, which I believe I am able to handle since I have completed my senior project.


2012 Art Show

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Jul 272013

Winners of the 2012 art show:

Wanda Aus from Ocean View won best of show and people’s choice. Her painting, The View, will appear on the cover of The Directory 2013.

First place winners:
Wanda Aus in the graphics division
Nancy Stafford in the photo division
Olivia Ling in the sculpture division
Dee Hyde-Begany in the craft division
Don Elwing in the wood division
Lorilee Lorenzo in the keiki division

Second place winners:
Alan Moores in the graphics division
Savory Yarrow in the photo division
Savory Yarrow in the sculpture division
Olivia Ling in the craft division
Terri Chopot in the wood division
Rio Chopot in the keiki division

Third place winners:
Dee Hyde-Begany in the graphics division
Frank Lorenzo in the photo division
Don Elwing in the sculpture division
Ola Kochis in the craft division
Shay Lorsen in the keiki division


2011 Art Show

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Jul 272013

Kathleen Kam is the winner of the cover art contest. Akebono Kau is the name of the winning entry. Kathleen Kan taught art at Naalehu Elementary School and painted the murals at Punaluu Bake Shop in Naalehu, Kilauea General Store in Volcano, the Keauhou Bird Sanctuary in Volcano, KTA in Hilo, and Kamehameha Schools on Oahu. She has provided artwork for signage and displays at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Kau Coffee Mill.


2012 Scholarship

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Jul 272013

In 2012, the scholarship program was revamped to focus more on helping all potential entrepreneurs that applied, also expanding to include adults returning to school. The essay question was changed to: How will your education benefit the District of Kau?

Recipients for 2012:

  • Layla Abellera
  • Kayla Andrade
  • Melani Bautista
  • Kasey Camba
  • Annie Mae Flores
  • Johngilbert Gorali
  • Jadelyn Kekoa
  • Rochelle Koi
  • Kiana Pascubillo
  • Tiare-Lee Shibuya
  • Mahealani Taganas
  • Tyler Navarro-Villa

The winners for our essay contest: “How will your education benefit the District of Kau?”

1st place:  Kayla Andrade

Taking Care of Business

Our world is changing, advancing, becoming more in sync with technology and the most beneficial thing to do is to change with it. Over the years, Ka’u has gone through many changes and it seems as if our community has adapted to it, but it’s important to use these changes to our advantage. Even though Ka’u is very secluded, it’s sometimes hard for families to make ends meet because of such a demanding economy. I believe that supporting local businesses plays an immense role in our society that fuels the wellbeing of common families that survive off their family owned businesses. These local businesses that are passed down to each generation help perpetuate the different aspects of culture, language, and history in order to attain sustainability if and when the barge stops sailing to Hawaii. Without our state’s main export system, only those who are culturally connected and aware of their handy resources will survive.

Opening new businesses such as hotels is very controversial here in Ka’u because it is one of the few places that hasn’t been influenced by big business and is known to be very rural. I am well aware of the push for preserving Ka’u’s natural beauty and cultural sites that hold value and history, but tourists will be coming in and out of Ka’u to experience its beauty whether we like it or not. Therefore, I want to be a type of facilitator to these newcomers and teach them to be culturally sensitive. If these people who come here are willing to learn about the culture and the history, then it’s only sensible to teach them correctly. This approach serves as a type of preservation as they carry on what they have learned and also share it with others. At the same time, many jobs will be available for the people of Ka’u as new businesses open.

Though I am not exact on what I want to pursue, I believe that going into business would aide me in trying to improve our society. The business field is such a versatile and relatable academy because all types of occupations somehow involve business. Living in this ever advancing era, we need to play to their strengths instead of fighting the system. For example, I know many successful local businesses that not only benefit themselves, but also their own culture that they practice on a daily basis.

Being from such a small town, perseverance is key because it is easy to just settle with what you’ve got when there are so much more opportunities available. If! am fortunate enough to get this scholarship, I will invest it toward a Degree in Business Management at University of Hawaii at Manoa whose business program is ranked in the top 25. Eventually, I would like to return to Ka’u and use my knowledge to help start up other businesses and encourage existing local businesses in our community. I am so blessed to have been raised in Ka’u’s close knit community. When we develop a well-oiled system that suffices everyone, there won’t be any worry about making it in this world. Then we will be able to focus on the more comforting aspects of being a community. The initial goal is to change with the world, but hold on to our roots and maintain a stable foundation.


2nd place: Annie Mae Flores

“Ka’u? Where’s that!?” I remember hearing those words when I went to a conference meeting in Oahu. When others asked me where I was from, I told them that I was from Ka’u. It was surprising to hear that they didnt know where Ka’u was, or that it was even located on Hawaii. Not everyone is familiar with the towns located here because of how small the place is. Ka’u doesn’t have much when it comes to things such as shops, marts, etc. Jobs are scarce and businesses keep closing down because customers are scarce. The closest Wal-Mart that there is seventy miles away forcing people to drive in and out of town to get groceries and such.

I have always wanted to give back to my community and help out with things that we are lacking like, for example, more jobs. I want to help my community get more local businesses running so that people will get the chance to work for their own money and also so that people won’t have to deal with driving back and forth just to get food to feed their families. Not only is the drive a grueling task, but because of the constant change of gas prices, traveling so far by car takes a toll on the wallet.

Another thing that I would also like to help my community with is to make programs for young adults to keep busy and be able to go to an afterschool program. Schools here have after school programs but only for younger kids. Teens have the option to join an extracurricular activity like sports. But not everyone is an athlete or is good in sports. Besides athletics, there isn’t really anything else to keep young adults occupied which leads them to doing things they shouldn’t be doing like drugs or alcohol. If kids were to stay busy, these things wouldn’t be as big of a problem. A year ago, I joined a program called the Summer Youth Program that enabled young adults to work after

Although it was only for three short months, the students enjoyed working and getting their own money and stayed of the trouble. In the future, I hope to set up a program like that; a program that will give teens the chance to make something of their selves and to learn how to be mature, young individuals. I know it’ll be difficult, but for the sake of the future generation of Ka’u, I am willing to do all that I can to achieve this dream.

To make a difference, you need to first start with a good education. I hope that I will be granted the Ka’u Chamber of Commerce Ken Wicks Memorial Scholarship to make that difference.


2011 Scholarship

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Jul 272013

Keisha Harper was selected as the recipient for the 2011 Ken Wicks Kau Chamber of Commerce Scholarship. Her essay is titled:

New Ways To A Better Environment

The environment is bad. It’s the unusual amounts of natural disasters that have recently been occurring. It’s the thinning of the ozone. It’s the overuse of fossil fuels. It’s the obscene trash island that has formed. It’s everything and it’s everywhere. Our natural resources have been used up, and going “green” is a little more expensive for small communities, such as Kau. What the environment needs is dedicated scientists and engineers.

There are many scientists and engineers already out there. But there could never be too many, just like a cat can never take too many naps in a day. New scientists and engineers bring fresh minds, new ideas, stronger support, and more heart. I want to be part of those engineers who are dedicated to ending this ongoing battle with pollution and natural disasters.

Science has potential. After all of the inventions and all of the discoveries, after everything science has done for us, it still only has potential. I say this because the capabilities of science are endless. Scientists work day in and day out trying to discover new compounds and trying to figure out a way to mend what’s been broken. Yet, they never stop. The learning never stops, just as the trying never stops.

These are the people who can create eco-friendly and cost-friendly products. These are the people who can figure out a way to fix the ozone and limit the use of CO2. These are the people we need. However, once they figure out what can be done, they need the people who can make it happen. Engineers are more than designers, they are creators. When the scientists come up with an idea, there are engineers right there to start designing that idea. This type of teamwork is necessary when discovering a new way to do something, such as restore the ozone layer. Scientists and engineers go hand in hand. If we want to help the Earth, we start there.

That’s me. That’s what I want to do. I want to be a part of the team that creates new ways to better the environment. That’s what I am going to college for.

Helping better the environment is a great thing for any community, whether it be here in Hawaii or in the coast of Italy. If we could discover a cheap alternative to gasoline, then gas prices go down and the CO2 levels emitted from cars go down as well. If we discover how to discard of all the waste humans produce without tossing it in the ocean, then we would have much less trash washing up on the shores at South Point. There are so many solutions that are just waiting to be discovered to help save and protect the environment.

There are many other ways to help the community of Kau. I believe the environment is the best place to start, especially since that’s what I want to go to college for. We have taken so much from our aina, now it’s time for us to give back.


2010 Scholarship

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Jul 272013

Alesha Ulu Makuakane and Katelyn Cadeauz Mitchell were selected as the recipients for the 2010 Ken Wicks Ka’u Chamber of Commerce Scholarship. Their essays are posted below:

Ulu Makuakane

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.

Katelyn Mitchell

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.


2007 Scholarship

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Jul 272013

The Ka’u Chamber of Commerce began their scholarship program in 2007 as an essay contest. Students were asked what they envisioned as their role in the future of Kau. Megan R.M. Lamson was selected as the very first recipient. Her essay is titled:

Marine Conservancy: The time is ripe to protect Kau’s precious ocean resources

I am working on my Masters Degree in Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science at the University of Hawaii, Hilo. For my thesis, I plan to conduct a one-year research project to characterize the local fish population at Honuapo Bay in Kau, to confirm that the area is an essential marine habitat that merits legal protection. I will link the world of marine resource management and my own research with community outreach and public education. Over the next several years, I hope to organize and implement a marine science curriculum for the students of Naalehu Elementary and Kau High School. This program would focus on the natural history of Hawaii Island, using hands-on science projects and field trips as the main teaching tools.

On a short-term basis, I want to share my love and enthusiasm for our ocean and its inhabitants with local youth so we can form an alliance that fosters conservation efforts in Kau. I plan to collaborate with other Kau residents and community groups to develop a multifaceted community-based marine management plan specific to our area-blending traditional ecology knowledge with recent scientific breakthroughs. My long-term goal is to continue my research emphasis along Kau’s coastline and to promote marine conservation here as a career. I will persevere with this objective until all of Kau’s myriad natural resources are adequately protected.

Here in Kau, we are blessed with one of the largest and most pristine coastlines in all the Hawaiian Islands. I hope to inspire the next generation to appreciate their natural surroundings and to acquire a mind-set of sustainability and conservation that they can later pass on to their children. We cannot force our rules upon the ocean, but we can use our best resources (from old kapuna wisdom to cutting-edge scientific research) to remedy the pervious harm incurred, and to minimize our ecological footprints into the future. Please help me lead Kau towards this purpose.


Aug 032012

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Aloha and welcome to our web site.

We, of the Kau Chamber of Commerce, believe that Kau is one of the best places in the world to live and work. This directory, like everything the Chamber does, is to help make Kau an even better place to live. We care for all of our many people in their great diversity, and know that we are here for most of the same reasons. We love the beauty of the landscape, and the great power and glory of the sea. We are thankful for all the food that the land and the sea produce, and our mostly gentle,  even climate. Most of us do not miss the pressures of the city, and enjoy the somewhat slower pace of Kau. But we must still provide for ourselves and our families, and this directory lists and describes who we are, so that we may more easily support one another.

The Chamber’s annual art show was a great success in 2011, and will be even larger in 2012. There will be more categories, prizes, and photos of the winners published in The Directory. Our artists deserve our support, so come view, vote, and buy October 1-6, 2012.

Our scholarship program has expanded. Now, in addition to high school seniors, anyone entering or re-entering the workforce, or entering or re-entering the higher education system may apply for assistance. The board would like to especially encourage those planning to remain and work in Kau to apply.

We plan to expand our web site so that all of our members who wish can have a direct link to their web sites. The printed version of The Directory has many helpful features such as maps, photos, articles, and information on many aspects of life in Kau.

The public is always welcome to attend any of the Chamber meetings. We invite everyone to join us to hear important information concerning our district and county. We are fortunate to draw a variety of speakers, including our County Council representative and an annual address from our Mayor.

We welcome all to join and help us grow in peace and respect for our Hawaiian paradise. Membership is open to everyone (individuals as well as businesses) all year long. Advertisers in The Directory are automatically members of the Kau Chamber of Commerce. We are always looking for board members, and could use a few more for 2012. The deadline for The Directory 2013 is October 31, 2012.

Mahalo for your continued support,
Dallas Decker, President