Maui Prep student athletes earn college scholarships
NAPILI – The integrity of any rural community is inherently defined by the aspirations and accomplishments of its youth. In particular, the opportunity for a college education is paramount to success for teenagers from an island upbringing in crossing that swinging bridge that takes them from childhood to being a young adult.
For Lahaina grown Maui Preparatory Academy seniors Jamie Advincula and Chantal Charbonnier, that pathway has been set in solid gold through their high school years at the independent campus at the foothills of Napili.
With the support of family, teachers, administrators and the West Side community, both have qualified for and received four-year, full-ride scholarships for a college education.
Advincula was rewarded a Manoa Regents Scholarship to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Charbonnier earned the Biz4Good award from Hawaii Pacific University. (She was accepted to Dartmouth and Brown Universities as well as HPU.)
The endearing aspect of this accomplishment is that for both young ladies, it will mark the first time a family member will attend college. And, with the confidence and zeal that also defines the character of Lahaina, they state that they will be the first from their families to graduate from college as well.
Advincula’s parents immigrated to Maui from the Philippines and toiled for Pioneer Mill to raise the family and provide the elementary foundation to send their daughter to Maui Prep on scholarship. Charbonnier was born in Thailand and came to the Valley Isle as a baby as her parents embarked on business ventures here.
Both families thrived on the burgeoning economy of Lahaina and raised their children within the aloha values and ethics of their generation. They saw the importance of the opportunities that are available at Maui Prep, and the girls thrived in this rich educational environment.
They became fixtures on the Headmaster’s List for academic excellence and joined the school’s National Honor Society Chapter and various other Maui Prep, volunteer and community service organizations.
In athletics, Charbonnier was a three-sport athlete and captained the Pueo canoe paddling team for three years.
Advincula, also a three-sport competitor, led the cross country team as captain for three years and helped them win a second place koa trophy at last year’s state championships. She qualified for the elite event in her junior and senior years.
“The past 17 years have been full of excitement, adventure and travel. They have been years I have learned to love and embrace, and I plan on spending my college experience the same way. I hope that the adventures of studying abroad and majoring in international business at HPU will fulfill me mentally, emotionally and spiritually,” stated Charbonnier in her scholarship application. An international business course of study is on the horizon.
“My teacher at Sacred Hearts School, Mary Anna Waldrop, influenced me to develop my spiritual side to set a new standard of quality of life. She expected me to consistently excel past the standard. She still is my mentor,” she added.
There have been similar influences for Advincula, who will major in entrepreneurship and studio art.
“I am interested in learning from others and I value input. My family and circle of friends have been extremely supportive of my endeavors, and without them in my life, I would never have made it this far. My goal above personal and professional success is to live in a way that raises others up. I want to be a part of a world in which creativity and collaboration are the expectation, not the ideal. To reach this, I firmly believe in leading by example, so I want to learn and experience all I can in order to be an individual of positive consequences,” she said.
For Maui Prep College Advisor and Athletic Director Keenan Reader, the experience with the two has been rewarding and inspirational as well.
“Both Jamie and Chantal have been student leaders at Maui Prep – excelling in academics, athletics and community service. They both come from families of hardworking parents and got scholarships to come to Maui Prep. These two girls have always maximized the opportunities gifted to them. The first of their families to attend college, they have proven that hard work, determination and strong desire will make their dreams come true.”