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 Ka’u.
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 Ka’u?”
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.