Parents: Ivan and Joyce Nakagawa

High School: Waiakea High School (Big Island), 2009

College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, education, 2014.

Occupation: Elementary school teacher at President Abraham Lincoln Elementary School.

What or Who Inspires You?

“A teacher is someone who inspires and motivates children. But as a teacher, my students inspire me.  Time and time again they have shown me that, regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, culture or religion, everyone should be treated with compassion.  With innocent eyes my students see the world without prejudice and disparity; together, we learn to persevere through adversity and promote tolerance by discussing real-world problems that help to challenge their perspectives and strengthen their resolve to be accepting of everyone, regardless of differences. My students are the reason I am optimistic for our future because they exemplify kindness and acceptance. Every day they inspire me to not only be a great teacher, but to be a better human being. Because of them I work tirelessly to spread their empathetic perspective and compassion to future classes, in the hopes that our future will be just as harmonious.”

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