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

By Staff | May 3, 2018

One senior from each of Hawaii’s 42 public schools received a $1,000 scholarship from the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association at a luncheon held on April 24 at the ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach.

HONOLULU – One senior from each of Hawaii’s 42 public schools received a $1,000 scholarship for his or her post-graduate education from the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association. The presentations were made last week at a luncheon held at the ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach.

The Maui recipients are Camille S. Kimoto of Baldwin High School, Kiki J. Bekkum of Hana High & Elementary School, Jaden H.W. Rivera of King Kekaulike High School, M’Chelle L.B. Aguinaldo of Lahainaluna High School and Emily N. Mitra of Maui High School.

The scholarships, 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 14th year the awards have been made.

Participating in the ceremony were Superintendent of Education Christina M. Kishimoto and Dave Kennedy, chief revenue officer for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Emcees for the event were Diane Ako of KITV News and journalist Yunji de Dies.

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.”

In addition to the $1,000 award to each senior, a second scholarship of $2,500 was presented to the top student from each of the state’s four counties.

The students were selected by an HLTA committee.

The Maui County recipient is Mitra. As president of the National Honor Society, Emily leads her classmates in tutoring children after school through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The group also raised money to buy supplies for a nearby elementary school that was badly damaged by a fire.

She is active in student government, is an officer with the Maui County 4-H and captains the MHS golf team.

The daughter of Ramon and Michele Mitra of Kahului will attend California Baptist University this fall.