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11 Hawaiʻi Island Students Receive $44,000 in Scholarships

May 31, 2021, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated May 30, 10:33 AM
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The Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation, Inc. (Takitani Foundation) has awarded scholarships to 11 Hawaiʻi Island seniors in its annual Legacy Scholarship program.  Hana-Lei Ji of Parker School received the $10,000 Mamoru Takitani Outstanding Student Award, one of the top two awards made this year.  Sandy Galvez of Kea‘au High School and Tayson Hirayama of Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy each received $5,000 District Finalist awards.  Eight other seniors from Hawaiʻi Island schools received a $3,000 award, including Kylie Kalauli, from Hilo High School, who was awarded the Mildred Higashi Director’s Scholarship.

The students were among 61 recipients, one from each qualifying public and independent school in the state, who received scholarships based on academic achievement, community service and financial need.  In total, the Foundation awarded $225,000 to students throughout the state in its Legacy Scholarship Program this year.

“Mr. and Mrs. Takitani founded Hawaiian Host, and knew hard work, innovation and commitment to excellence were key factors in their success,” said KSSK Radio personality Michael W. Perry, the Takitani Foundation Chairman of the Board.  “The Takitanis wanted to recognize those same qualities in Hawaiʻi’s outstanding students with support to further their education.”

Outstanding and Distinguished student awards:

Hana-Lei Ji of Parker School received the $10,000 Mamoru Takitani Outstanding Student Award.  She is the daughter of Etsuko Ji and Bryan Ji.  She will be attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in the Fall.   At Parker, Ji received the University of Pennsylvania Book Award for displaying “exemplary leadership, academics, athletics citizenship and community service.”  She also earned Silver and Gold Key awards for her digital art pieces, some of which were on display at the state art museum and served as the captain of the school’s Speech and Debate team.  Ji was named an AP Scholar with Honor from the College Board for her high achievement on multiple Advanced Placement exams, and she also participated on Parker’s Varsity tennis team since 2017, serving as team captain since junior year.

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District Finalist scholarship awards of $5,000:

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Sandy Galvez of Kea‘au High School is the daughter of Sammy Galvez and Thelma Galvez.  She will be attending University of Hawai’i at Hilo.  She completed a six-week summer program with the Upward Bound Hilo program and is also a member of Bluezones, an organization that teaches students to “live a healthy life by making healthy choices” and giving back to the community.  Galvez hopes to pursue a career in nursing.

Tayson Hirayama of Hawai’i Preparatory Academy is the son of Jennifer Hirayama and Stennis Hirayama.  He has been on the Dean’s List since his freshman year, also receiving awards for his participation on the school’s football, wrestling and baseball teams.  Hirayama is a member of the Boy Scouts of America and the Honoka‘a Hongwanji, assisting with the “Feeding Keiki and Kupuna” program.  He plans on majoring in engineering in college and will attend the University of Washington in Seattle this Fall.

Hawaiʻi District – $3,000 scholarship awards:

  • Caileen Teramoto of Konawaena High School, is the daughter of Deana Teramoto and Lance Teramoto, and will be attending the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
  • Mahina Kaiawe-Rivera of Pahoa High & Intermediate School, is the daughter of Jacqueline Kaiawe, and will be attending the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.
  • Kacie Tagawa of Waiakea High School, is the daughter of Heather Tagawa and Jason Tagawa, and will be attending the University of Oregon.
  • Kylie Kalauli of Hilo High School,is the daughter of Pauliane Kalauokaʻaeʻa-Kahele and Keliʻi Kalauokaʻaeʻa-Kahele, and will be attending Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Sheilyn Subia of Honoka’a High School, is the daughter of Marvin Subia and Nelly Subia, and will be attending Baylor University.
  • Melakai Keohuloa of Ka’u High School, is the son of Melody Espejo and Eugene Keohuloa Jr., and will be attending the University of Hawai`I at Hilo.
  • Pilila’i Kaai of Kohala High School, is the daughter of Anthony Kaai and Florene Kaai, and will be attending Grand Canyon University.
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Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools – $3,000 scholarship awards

  • Sophia Perry of Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i, is the daughter of Malia Perry and Shaun Perry, and will be attending Northwestern University.

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