Kealakehe Student Recognized as Top Big Island Scholar by HLTA

May 1, 2019, 12:31 PM HST (Updated May 1, 2019, 5:44 PM)

One senior from each of Hawai‘i’s 42 public high schools received a $1,000 scholarship for his or her post-graduate education from the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association. The 15th annual iteration of these presentations were made today at a luncheon held at the ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach.

42 public high schools received a $1,000 scholarship for his or her post-graduate education from the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association. (Click to enlarge). Courtesy photo.

These scholarships, known as the Citizen-Scholar Awards, stem from a partnership between the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and the Department of Education. Scholarship funding is provided by HLTA members.

Participating in the ceremony were HLTA President & CEO Mufi Hannemann; Assistant Superintendent of Education Cynthia Covell; and Ron Nagasawa, Senior Vice President of Oahu Publications, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser parent company. Emcees for the event were Diane Ako of KITV News and journalist Yunji de Nies.

The students were selected by the Department of Education for their scholastic achievements and philanthropic endeavors. Each recipient was required to have a minimum 3.2 grade point average and an extensive record of school and public service.


Hannemann stated, “Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry is proud to honor the future leaders of our state and nation. These seniors have been selected based on their scholastic merit, as well as their voluntarism. They exemplify the best of our youth, and we are proud to recognize them for their extraordinary service to their school and community.”

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. These recipients were selected by an HLTA committee.

This year’s awardees are:

Hawai‘i Island: Zea Levine, Kealakehe High School
Levine recently received a grant to help her develop her own website, S-E-T Kona, which will allow her to create a region-specific page with information about reproductive health and how to access health care in West Hawai‘i. The Colorado College-bound Levine is also the Founder and current President of the Gender Sexuality Alliance & Advocacy club at Kealakehe.

Zea Levine, Hawai‘i Island Most Outstanding Citizen Scholar. Courtesy HLTA

Kaua‘i: Hannah Collins-Doijode, Kapa‘a High School
Collins-Doijode won first place in the state HOSA CPR/first aid competition, and spent her summer interning at Hawai‘i Pacific Health. She will be attending Johns Hopkins University, and plans to pursue a career as a physician. Collins-Doijode aspires to return home to practice in Hawai‘i after completing her education.

Maui: Josh Ooka, Baldwin High School
Ooka planned a wellness week for Baldwin High School to encourage students and faculty to support the Blue Zones philosophy and promote a healthy lifestyle. The aspiring doctor heads to UCLA in the fall, and wants to provide health care in his hometown on Maui Island after graduation.

O‘ahu: Anna Peters, Waialua High School
Harvard University early admit Peters plans to pursue a degree in either biology or neuroscience. She has volunteered at Queen’s Medical Center West Oahu and at Cardinal Tien Hospital in Taiwan, and dreams of becoming a doctor.

Added Hannemann, “These four students represent all the finest attributes of our future leaders, and we could not have asked for more ambitious, well-rounded recipients.”

The 2019 Citizen-Scholar Award recipients are:

Aiea High SchoolSheraton Princess Kaiulani
Baldwin High SchoolHawaiian Airlines
Campbell High SchoolHyatt Place Waikiki Beach
Castle High SchoolEnterprise Rent-A-Car
Farrington High SchoolThe Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Resort
Hana High & Elementary SchoolSheraton Maui
Hilo High SchoolCastle Hotels & Resorts
Honoka’a High and Intermediate SchoolHLTA – Hawai‘i Island Chapter
Kahuku High & Intermediate SchoolInternational Market Place
Kailua High SchoolTrump International Hotel Waikiki
Kaimuki High SchoolAla Moana Hotel
Kaiser High SchoolThe New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
Kalaheo High SchoolMoana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
Kalani High SchoolWaikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Kapa’a High SchoolHLTA – Kaua‘i Chapter
Kapolei High SchoolHonolulu Star-Advertiser
Ka’ū High and Pahala Elementary SchoolUH Manoa, School of Travel Industry Management
Kaua’i High SchoolHLTA – Kaua‘i Chapter
Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o AnuenueRoyal Hawaiian Center
Kea’au High SchoolHawai‘i Gas
Kealakehe High SchoolHLTA – Hawai‘i Island Chapter
King Kekaulike High SchoolMaui Hotel & Lodging Association
Kohala High SchoolMauna Kea Resort
Konawaena High SchoolCentral Pacific Bank
Lahainaluna High SchoolMarriott’s Maui Ocean Club
Lana’i High and Elementary SchoolPūlama Lāna‘i
Leilehua High SchoolSheraton Waikiki Resort
Maui High SchoolIsland Movers, Inc.
McKinley High SchoolFirst Hawaiian Bank
Mililani High School‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
Moanalua High SchoolAlaska Airlines
Moloka’i High SchoolOLS Hotels & Resorts
Nanakuli High SchoolHawaiian Electric
Pāhoa High and Intermediate SchoolBig Island Candies
Pearl City High SchoolOutrigger Hotels & Resorts
Radford High SchoolAqua-Aston Hospitality
Roosevelt High SchoolHyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Waiākea High SchoolKTA Super Stores
Waialua High & Intermediate SchoolInterstate Restoration
Waianae High SchoolHalekulani Corporation
Waimea High SchoolKauai Shrimp
Waipahu High SchoolHalepuna Waikiki by Halekulani/Halekulani


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