Maui News

Seven Maui County students selected in statewide for HLTA Citizen-Scholar Awards

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Maui County Top Scholar Zahra K. Bhattacharya. PC: courtesy HTLA

Seven public school students from Maui County were among the 42 individuals selected for Citizen-Scholar Awards. More than $60,000 in scholarships was distributed to public high school seniors during a luncheon on Wednesday at the Prince Walkīkī.

The 18th annual event was hosted by the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, in partnership with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Department of Education.

“The Citizen-Scholar Awards is a signature HLTA event that provides us with an opportunity to focus on our educational and philanthropic missions,” said HLTA President & CEO Mufi Hannemann. “Reviewing their resumes and learning about their passions and aspirations is extremely humbling, and I am proud to be able to recognize them for their accomplishments. This year’s class of Scholars is exemplary by every definition of the word, and we are all excited to see what they go on to accomplish.”

The Citizen-Scholar Awards are made possible through generous donations from private businesses and organizations—the vast majority coming from the local hospitality industry. Each sponsor is assigned a Scholar who was selected by their school administration for recognition.

*Maui recipients are highlighted below:

Citizen-Scholar Awards recipients 2022. PC: Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association

2022 Citizen-Scholars

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Admiral Arthur W. Radford High School – Kyla A. Musso
‘Aiea High School – Kairi Gervacio
Governor Wallace Rider Farrington High School – Jayden-Joseph Acoba
Hāna High & Elementary School – Tyra-Li Perry
Henry J. Kaiser High School – Elana Ingwers
Henry Perrine Baldwin High School – Zahra Bhattacharya
Hilo High School – Maya C. Oishi
Honoka‘a High & Intermediate School – Daelyn Jo Ann De Luz
James B. Castle High School – Ryden Matsuda
James Campbell High School – Christie Jiang
Kahuku High & Intermediate School – Natali Keni
Kailua High School – Madeline K. Tamura
Kaimukī High School – Nhi Nguyen
Kalaheo High School – Kawehi Bringas
Kalani High School – Hinano Tsuchiya
Kapa‘a High School – Madhav Collins-Doijode
Kapolei High School – Naleia Jazelle Tacadena
Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary School – Shemayah Doi
Kaua‘i High School – Holly Taguma
Kea‘au High School – Crystal Ann Simeon
Kealakehe High School – Carolyn E. Clebsch
King Kekaulike High School – Kali Spalding
Kohala High School – Teige Lorenzo-Akamu
Konawaena High School – Lacey Young
Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Ānuenue – Jayden Hiwauli
Lahainaluna High School – Kalolaine Pasikala
Lāna‘i High & Elementary School – Stephani Badillo

Leilehua High School – Hyunny Cha
Maui High School – Gwen T. Jaramillo 
Mililani High School – Jazlyne Nitta
Moanalua High School – Kolby Yamamoto
Molokaʻi High School – Paige Fukuoka
Nānākuli High & Intermediate School – Christian Dave Collado 
Pāhoa High School – Jamie Pabro-Andres
Pearl City High School – Rylie Goo
President Theodore Roosevelt High School – Sierra K. Youth
President William McKinley High School – Katherine Liu
Waiākea High School – Matthew Labasan
Waialua High and Intermediate School – Cyan Tyger Mezin
Waiʻanae High School – Ezekiel Jianne Briones
Waimea High School – Glydelle Valmaja
Waipahu High School – Taylor Fukunaga

Top County Scholars

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Hawai‘i Island – Maya C. Oishi
Hilo High School
University of Texas at Austin

Maui – Zahra K. Bhattacharya
Henry Perrine Baldwin High School
University of Southern California

O‘ahu – Hinano Tsuchiya
Kalani High School
Princeton University

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Kaua‘i – Madhav J. Collins-Doijode
Kapa‘a High School
Swarthmore College

Overall Citizen-Scholar Winners

Carolyn E. Clebsch
Kealakehe High School
Stanford University

Carolyn describes herself as a Native Hawaiian artist who dedicates herself to community work centered on culture, education reform, and indigenous rights. On campus, she is involved in activities including Rocketry Club, Model U.N., Science Fair, and SkillsUSA, leading teams to national and international competitions. Outside of the classroom, she has helped to build community centers like Haleki‘i Resilience Hub where she has led collaborative keiki murals that showcase endemic wildlife, native values, and Hawaiian legends. 

Jayden-Joseph Acoba
Governor Wallace Rider Farrington High School
Harvard University

Throughout his time at Farrington, Jayden-Joseph has thrived in leadership positions; he has served as class president for three years, vice president of the Farrington chapter of the Health Occupations Students of America, and vice president of the Farrington chapter of the National Honor Society. A committed volunteer who works closely with elementary school students, he will serve as his class valedictorian.

Citizen-Scholar Awards Sponsors

From the pool of 42 students, HLTA’s scholarship committee selects a top Scholar for each county and a top overall male and female Scholar. Top county winners receive an additional $2,500 scholarship, and the two overall winners receive an additional $5,000. 

“The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is proud to partner with HLTA and the DOE to congratulate and recognize this year’s class of Citizen-Scholars. They are exceptional students, leaders, and dedicated community servants who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence, and I wish them all the best as they begin the next phase of their academic careers,” said Honolulu Star-Advertiser Chief Revenue Officer David Kennedy.

In past years, Citizen-Scholars have been encouraged and invited to speak at the annual luncheon. These students have been impressive at the podium so, for the first time, Scholars who were selected to share remarks, or provide a pule to bless the event, were given a $500 scholarship. This year, Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Ānuenue’s Jayden Hiwauli blessed the luncheon with a prayer in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i while Shemayah Doi of Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary School and Henry J. Kaiser High School’s Elana Ingwers shared opening and closing remarks.

“It’s gratifying to see the local business community celebrate some of our most promising young leaders,” said Hawai‘i State Department of Education Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi. “These students have already made such impactful contributions to our community, and the Citizen-Scholars Awards will definitely help set their path for even greater future success.”

Sponsors for this year’s event included: Alaska Airlines; ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach; Aqua-Aston Hospitality; Big Island Candies; Blue Hawaiian; Castle Resorts & Hotels; Courtyard Marriott – O‘ahu, North Shore; Domino’s Pizza Hawai‘i; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; First Hawaiian Bank; First Onsite; Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; Halekulani & Halepuna Waikīkīʻ Halekulani Corporation; Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association – Hawai‘i Island Chapter (sponsored two students); Hawaiian Airlines; Hawaiian Electric; Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association – Kaua‘i Chapter; Honolulu Star-Advertiser; Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa; International Market Place; Island Movers; Kaimana Beach Hotel; KTA Super Stores; Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club ; Maui Hotel & Lodging Association; Mauna Kea Resort; Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa & Sheraton; Princess Kaiulani; Outrigger Hospitality Group; Pūlama Lāna‘i; Roberts Hawai‘i; Royal Sonesta Kaua‘i Resort; Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa; Sheraton Waikīkī & The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort; Springboard Hospitality; The Orchid Lei Company; The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikīkī Beach; and Trump International Hotel Waikīkī.

The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association is the state’s oldest and largest private organization representing hotels, condominiums, timeshares, other lodging entities, suppliers, and related firms and individuals with a connection to tourism. HLTA is dedicated to supporting the hospitality industry through education, political action, and membership benefits, and raising awareness about its contributions throughout the state.

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