Kealakehe Student Recognized as Top Big Island Scholar by HLTA

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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 School Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Baldwin High School Hawaiian Airlines
Campbell High School Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach
Castle High School Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Farrington High School The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Resort
Hana High & Elementary School Sheraton Maui
Hilo High School Castle Hotels & Resorts
Honoka’a High and Intermediate School HLTA – Hawai‘i Island Chapter
Kahuku High & Intermediate School International Market Place
Kailua High School Trump International Hotel Waikiki
Kaimuki High School Ala Moana Hotel
Kaiser High School The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
Kalaheo High School Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
Kalani High School Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Kapa’a High School HLTA – Kaua‘i Chapter
Kapolei High School Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Ka’ū High and Pahala Elementary School UH Manoa, School of Travel Industry Management
Kaua’i High School HLTA – Kaua‘i Chapter
Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Anuenue Royal Hawaiian Center
Kea’au High School Hawai‘i Gas
Kealakehe High School HLTA – Hawai‘i Island Chapter
King Kekaulike High School Maui Hotel & Lodging Association
Kohala High School Mauna Kea Resort
Konawaena High School Central Pacific Bank
Lahainaluna High School Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club
Lana’i High and Elementary School Pūlama Lāna‘i
Leilehua High School Sheraton Waikiki Resort
Maui High School Island Movers, Inc.
McKinley High School First Hawaiian Bank
Mililani High School ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
Moanalua High School Alaska Airlines
Moloka’i High School OLS Hotels & Resorts
Nanakuli High School Hawaiian Electric
Pāhoa High and Intermediate School Big Island Candies
Pearl City High School Outrigger Hotels & Resorts
Radford High School Aqua-Aston Hospitality
Roosevelt High School Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Waiākea High School KTA Super Stores
Waialua High & Intermediate School Interstate Restoration
Waianae High School Halekulani Corporation
Waimea High School Kauai Shrimp
Waipahu High School Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani/Halekulani

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