Five Maui Students Awarded Part of $52K Scholarship from Hospitality Industry

April 28, 2017, 9:20 AM HST · Updated April 28, 9:22 AM
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The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association awarded 42 seniors from public high schools across the state $1,000 in scholarships for their post-graduate educations. Five Maui students, one Moloka‘i student and one Lānaʻi student were awarded scholarships at a luncheon held at The MODERN Honolulu yesterday.

Jaccie Hisashima of Maui, Lester Iwata of Hawai‘i Island, Truman Spring of O‘ahu and Grace Yatsko of Kaua‘i were recipients of a $2,500 scholarship from the HLTA Photo Courtesy

The students were selected by the Department of Education for scholastic achievements and school and community service. Each student had to have a minimum 3.2 grade point average and an extensive record of school and public service.

Harmony-Sanoe Gonsalves-Cosma of Hāna High & Elementary School, Layce Yamauchi of Baldwin High School, Jaccie Hisashima of King Kekaulike High School, Justice Tihada of Lahainaluna High School, Colleen Sakuma of Lānaʻi High School, Alexandria Tyau of Maui High School and Sonja Angst of Molokaʻi High School were recipients of the award for Maui County.

The scholarships, known as the Citizen-Scholar Awards, is a partnership of the HLTA, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Department of Education.

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This year, four additional $2,500 scholarships were awarded to the top student from each of the state’s four counties.

The recipients were Jaccie Hisashima of King Kekaulike High School on Maui, Lester Iwata of Waiakea High School on Hawai‘i Island, Truman Spring of Kahuku High School on O‘ahu, and Grace Yatsko of Kapa‘a High School on Kaua‘i.

“Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry has been proud to honor the future leaders of our state and nation,” Mufi Hannemann, HLTA president and CEO, said. “These seniors have been selected by dint of their scholastic success as well as their invaluable contributions to their schools and our community. They represent the best of your youth devoting themselves to volunteerism and public service, and we’re delighted to recognize them for their civic leadership and selflessness.”

Jaccie Hisashima, Maui
Over the course of her schooling at Kekaulike, Hisashima has devoted over a thousand hours of service to others. She is the student body president, as well as a member of the Key Club, STEM Club, tennis team, and a taiko group. Hisashima also returns every year to her elementary school to volunteer for events such as Read Aloud America and Pumpkin Math Night, where she teaches younger students STEM subjects. Hisashima will attend Chapman University starting Fall 2017.

Lester Iwata, Hawai‘i Island
Lester Iwata has been involved in community service since the beginning of his high school career at Waiakea. He is a Key Club member, Student Government Association secretary, and a varsity baseball athlete. Iwata is currently working on a project using computer drafting programs to draw a three-dimensional model of the Hokualaka‘i voyaging canoe. By using his STEM skills, Iwata hopes to educate the community on the history of the canoe and promote Hawaiian culture. Iwata will attend the University of Portland beginning this Fall.

Truman Spring, O‘ahu
Truman Spring of Kahuku High School is the vice president of his school’s National Honor Society, captain of the Kahuku Speech & Debate team, vice president of the Drama Club, and captain of a soccer club. He is a History Day competitor who has placed in the top 10 nationally for four years, including a first-place finish. When several students from his community lacked the financial resources to compete in National History Day in Washington, D.C., a few years ago, Spring helped get the students to the competition by successfully obtaining a youth leadership grant that required 275 students to participate in 1,000 hours of service through community environmental sustainability projects. Spring will attend Brigham Young University – Provo starting this Fall.

Grace Yatsko, Kaua‘i
Grace Yatsko is president of her school’s Interact Club, member of the Civics Club, student representative for the Kapa‘a High School PTSA, and part of the National Honor Society. Yatsko also has extensive experience in volunteering with youth; she tutors first graders at Kapa‘a Elementary School, works part-time as a teacher’s aide at All Saints Preschool, and has served as a Ke Akua Youth Group leader and Sunday school teacher at her church. When a psychiatric rehabilitation organization called Friendship House was burglarized, Yatsko wrote an editorial in the local newspaper to help raise money for the organization and successfully raised nearly $500. Yatsko will attend Colorado State University starting this Fall.

“These four students represent all the finest attributes of our future leaders, and we couldn’t have selected better students to receive this special honor,” Hannemann added.

A complete list of the 2017 Citizen-Scholar Award recipients follows:

High SchoolStudentSponsor
Admiral Arthur W. Radford High SchoolVictoria MatosAqua-Aston Hospitality
Aiea High SchoolCarly NebrijaSheraton Princess Kaiulani
Anuenue SchoolLogan KeolaIsland Air
Governor Wallace Rider Farrington High SchoolRegine Louisa RamosThe Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort
Hana High & Elementary SchoolHarmony-Sanoe Gonsalves-CosmaSheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Henry J. Kaiser High SchoolAlexandria YawataThe New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
Henry Perrine Baldwin High SchoolLayce YamauchiInternational Market Place
Hilo High SchoolJessica ValdezCastle Resorts & Hotels
Honoka`a High SchoolAimee SeoKen’s House of Pancakes
James B. Castle High SchoolKeilee SimmsEnterprise Rent-A-Car
James Campbell High SchoolBrandon RagasaHyatt Place Waikiki Beach
Ka`u High SchoolTrevor TaylorUH Manoa, School of Travel Industry Management
Kahuku High & Intermediate SchoolTruman SpringHawaiian Airlines
Kailua High SchoolMax ArakakiTrump International Hotel Waikiki
Kaimuki High SchoolSofia MatiasAla Moana Hotel
Kalaheo High SchoolMatthew DarrahMoana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
Kalani High SchoolMary GarrisonWaikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Kapa`a High SchoolGrace YatskoAlaska Airlines
Kapolei High SchoolChantelle LopezHonolulu Star-Advertiser
Kaua‘i High SchoolDanica Marielle OlaHawai`i Lodging & Tourism Association – Kauai Chapter
Kea‘au High SchoolRuby Kate GalaponHawaii Gas
Kealakehe High SchoolJames CaudellHawai`i Lodging & Tourism Association – Hawaii Island Chapter
King Kekaulike High SchoolJaccie HisashimaMaui Hotel & Lodging Association
Kohala High SchoolGabriella BoyleMauna Kea Resort
Konawaena High SchoolRagan LeslieHale Koa Hotel
Lahainaluna High SchoolJustice TihadaMarriott’s Maui Ocean Club
Lanai High SchoolColleen SakumaPūlama Lāna`i
Leilehua High SchoolChristina MasutaniSheraton Waikiki Resort
Maui High SchoolAlexandria TyauIsland Movers
Mililani High SchoolMitchell Kim-FuPacific Beach Hotel
Moanalua High SchoolMami NaritaRoberts Hawaii
Moloka‘i High SchoolSonja AngstChelsea Group
Nanakuli High SchoolJoey PantilHawaiian Electric Companies
Pahoa High & Intermediate SchoolCosette DanielsBig Island Candies
Pearl City High SchoolMichael TaylorOutrigger Enterprises Group
President Theodore Roosevelt High SchoolMadavrolyn TausaHyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
President William McKinley High SchoolDonavan AlbanoFirst Hawaiian Bank
Waiakea High SchoolLester IwataKTA Super Stores
Waialua High & Intermediate SchoolSaige-Caleigh DayacosInterstate Restoration
Waianae High SchoolRudjay KeopuhiwaHalekulani Corporation
Waimea High SchoolBreeAnn CayabanDOW Agroscience
Waipahu High SchoolAndrea Lyn MateoHalekulani & Waikiki Parc Hotel

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