Na Kanaka

A regular feature highlighting the appointments and achievements of Hawaii’s people. In this update: Gabe Naeole, Eddy Ng, Mike Perrino, Tiffany Chou, Theodore Dodson, Mika`ele Pavao, Kelsey Yamasaki, Hanna Nowicki, Lisa Keilani Akoi, and Ryan M. Matsumoto.

[ Gabe Naeole ]Gabe Naeole has been appointed director of the Na Hoa Hoola program at Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL). “This project combines technology, culture, and prevention to serve Native Hawaiians,” Naeole explains. The Kamehameha Schools graduate joined the Native Hawaiian Safe and Drug-Free program (the predecessor to Na Hoa Hoola) in 1994. He became associate director in 2002. The program will receive $637,393 in annual funding from the federal Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities program to develop culturally appropriate violence- and drug-prevention lessons for Native Hawaiian students.

Eddy Ng has been appointed the Region II Director of the Hawaii Jaycees, and will be responsible for the oversight of all Jaycee chapters on Oahu. Ng has been charged with the task of increasing membership in the Hawaii Jaycees, a top priority for the group this year as decreed by its president, Jon Nishihara. Ng, a member and former president of the Hawaii Business Jaycees, was awarded the Masato Kamisato Memorial Award in 2001 for being the most outstanding chapter president in the state. Ng is currently a corporate business banker at City Bank in Honolulu.

Kaiser High School senior Mike Perrino has been awarded a $8,000 university scholarship to attend the University of Mobile, a Baptist-affiliated university located in Mobile, Ala. Awarded in recognition of the university’s goal of “Changing lives to Change the World,” the scholarship is valued at $2,000 per year (awarded over eight consecutive semesters) and includes a $1,000 room-and-board residence hall grant.

More than 20,000 high- and middle-school students nationwide submitted applications for this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and more than two dozen honorees were chosen in Hawaii. Backed by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the program honors young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. Among them: Tiffany Chou of Pukalani, a senior at Seabury Hall School in Makawao, Theodore Dodson of Wailuku, an eighth-grader at Saint Anthony Junior/Senior High School, Mika`ele Pavao of Hana, a senior at Hana High and Elementary School, and Kelsey Yamasaki of Honolulu, a senior at President Theodore Roosevelt High School.

The Hawaii Center for the Book has selected three local winners for the national “Letters About Literature” essay contest: Hanna Nowicki, a 4th grader at Hoala School, Lisa Keilani Akoi, a 7th grader at Kahuku High & Elementary School, and Ryan M. Matsumoto, a junior at Maryknoll High School. Nowicki wrote an essay on Sadako and the Thousand Cranes by Eleanor Coerr; Akoi’s essay was on Hula Girl by Gael Mustapha; and Matsumoto’s essay was about Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. Each will receive gift certificates to their favorite bookstore and to Target Stores, the national sponsor of Letters About Literature. (There are no Target stores in Hawaii.)

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