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Hospitality industry awards $52,000 in scholarships to public high school students

By Staff | May 11, 2017


HONOLULU – Forty-two seniors from public high schools across the Hawaiian Islands each received $1,000 scholarships for their post-graduate educations from the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association.

The presentations were made recently at a luncheon held at The MODERN Honolulu.

The program, known as the Citizen-Scholar Awards, is a partnership of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Department of Education. Funding is provided by HLTA members. This was the 13th year of the program.

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

Mufi Hannemann, HLTA president and CEO, said, “Hawaii’s hospitality industry has been proud to honor the future leaders of our state and nation. 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.”

This year, the HLTA introduced four additional $2,500 scholarships that 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 Hawaii Island, Truman Spring of Kahuku High School on Oahu and Grace Yatsko of Kapaa High School on Kauai. The students were selected by a HLTA committee.

Over the course of her schooling at Kekaulike, Hisashima has devoted over 1,000 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 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. She will attend Chapman University in the fall.

The Citizen-Scholar Award recipients from Maui are: Harmony-Sanoe Gonsalves-Cosma, Hana High & Elementary School, sponsored by the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa; Layce Yamauchi, Baldwin High School, sponsored by International Market Place; Justice Tihada, Lahainaluna High School, sponsored by Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club; and Alexandria Tyau, Maui High School, sponsored by Island Movers.