Biggest Loser Inspires Molokai Students

May 27, 2011, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated May 27, 11:48 AM
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By Katie McMillan

Inspired by the  reality TV show “The Biggest Loser”, Director Donna Haytko-Paoa, UH Maui College-Molokai Education Coordinator, decided to motivate students and faculty to lose weight and embrace a healthy lifestyle.

1st Place April Maddela, 2nd Place Susan Macuse, 3rd Place Mariah Rapanot-McGuire (file image)

Students were given the incentives of a  $500 scholarship to lose weight.  They were encouraged to partake in workshops every Friday that educated students on how to exercise and eat healthy. Each week of attendance at the workshops earned the student’s name in a bucket, which was used for a scholarship drawing at the end of the program.

Mariah Rapanot-McGuire was awarded the scholarship and placed third in the program by losing 16.8 pounds. “It feels great,” Rapanot-McGuire said. “I changed my whole diet. I took rice out and stayed away from everything that had sugar in it and I exercised more.”

The first place winner was April Maddela losing 26.6 pounds, 2nd place Susan Macuse losing 17.2 pounds and Mariah Rapanot-McGuire in 3rd place losing 16.8 pounds.  The final weight loss for the entire group was 163.3 lbs.


To keep the momentum going, UHMC Molokai staff plan to work over the next month to get students, friends, and family of UHMC Molokai to join us in pledging in the “Pound for Pound Challenge.”  Taken directly from the challenge website (, for every pound you pledge to lose through May 31, 2011, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 11¢ to Feeding America enough to secure one pound of groceries on behalf of local food banks.


Participants that are already at a healthy weight can choose to maintain it, which results in a 5lb. food donation.  UH Maui College-Molokai has developed an online team where participants have already pledged to lose 333 lbs.

“Our participants have stood to benefit personally from this experience and this is their opportunity to ‘give back’ by turning their weight loss into something that is good for the community.  The pounds that they are pledging to lose will result in pounds of food for Hawaii’s hungry,” said Haytko-Paoa.

Hawaii as a state is currently the leader in the Pound for Pound Challenge with 42,659 pounds of weight loss pledged.  UHMC-Molokai would like to make a contribution to keeping Hawaii on top. “We encourage all our friends and family to take the pledge with us by joining our team or creating one of your own,” said Haytko-Paoa.


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