Big Island student among finalists for prestigious Duke Award
Kianni Dodson of Hawaiʻi Island was among 39 finalists for the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation’s prestigious Duke Award.
Community members came together May 16 in celebration of Duke’s Night, an event recognizing young scholarship recipients of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.
The Foundation awarded 39 scholarships to students from across the state, including Dodson, who paddles for Waikoloa Canoe Club and enjoys time volunteering as Key Club president and working in her school’s library.
A dedicated lifelong learner, Dodson plans to attend Hawaiʻi Pacific University to become a nurse.
“Through their sports, these students can represent Hawaiʻi on national and global stages and return home to be leaders in their communities,” said Sarah Fairchild, executive director of the foundation. “We’re honored to celebrate this next generation of leaders, and we’re deeply grateful for the supportive community that has rallied around them.”
As part of the evening, Jack Ho, a senior at Punahou School, received the Duke Award, the evening’s top student scholarship awarding $15,000 in recognition of an exceptional Hawaiʻi high-school senior who exemplifies the character and values of Duke Kahanamoku.
Ho is the fastest youth to cross the Pailolo Channel separating the islands of Molokaʻi and Maui, hydrofoiling for 27 miles, and the only person who has recreated the mile-long “Duke Ride” from Castles to Queen’s Beach using hydrofoil.
Ho’s dream is to show aloha through the ocean, and his passion is visible in his love of surfing, hydrofoiling, paddling and fishing. He will attend the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
in the fall so that he may continue his chosen sports.
The Duke’s Night program featured a panel highlighting Hawaiʻi athletes who have excelled at the highest levels, including Carissa Moore, Kawika Shoji and Donna Kahakui. The three panelists shared advice the students could carry into competition and throughout life.