High School: Castle High School

College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management

Occupation: Human resources specialist

Hobbies: Traveling, hiking and eating food

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“The world will always be full of uncertainty, uncomfortable experiences and unexpected events. Although many times, it seems the world is spiraling out of control, it is important to look towards tomorrow with kibou: hope for a better future. Optimism while keeping an open mind is how I move forward with each day, hoping that as we face each of our own personal struggles, we will find comfort and hope that everything happens for a reason, strengthening us to be a better person each day.”



High School: Konawaena High School (Kealakekua, Hawaiʻi island)

College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies

Occupation: Benefits administrative assistant

Hobbies: Eating, traveling, baking and decorating cookies

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“Kibou is the little thing inside of me that keeps me going. There are days where I find myself saying, ‘I hope today doesn’t end, because it’s just so perfect.’ Then there are days that aren’t so perfect. On these days, I tell myself tomorrow is a new day, and I hope it will be better. I use this word ‘hope’ a lot, but never thought about the word. To me, hope is looking on the bright side of things and taking challenges as an opportunity to better myself. I always say, ʻI hope tomorrow will be better,’ because I can learn from today and change tomorrow.”



High School: Roo-sevelt High School

College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences; University of California, Davis, Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine

Occupation: Associate veterinarian

Hobbies: Gardening, surfing with friends and cooking new and old recipes

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“From the simplest action of watering my garden to the most impactful decisions with my veterinary patients, ‘kibou’ or hope is integrated into my everyday life. Audrey Hepburn’s quote, ‘To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow’ resounds with me especially during these challenging times. In response to the pandemic, I planted a garden to give myself hope in tomorrow. I see inspiration in the inches of growth in the vining cucumbers, the first flowers and the first crop.

“Every day at work I see a spectrum of cases from puppy and kitten wellness to critical emergencies. Hope, compassion and kindness are integrated into providing the best care for my patients.

“As I tend to my patients and garden everyday, I have hope that tomorrow will bring progress, prosperity and good health to my community. I look forward to when we can again gather, share meals and happily embrace.”



High School: ‘Aiea High School

College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Minor in Music; Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Secondary Education

Occupation: English-language arts teacher

Hobbies: Reading, hiking and traveling

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“I think of kibou as having something to look forward to. The start of my career has been fraught with challenges, but I maintain kibou in my belief that if I just continue to be a good person and work hard to meet my goals, then I will persevere.

“Though we may be facing hardships now, it is important to have hope that better days are just around the corner. When I told my 97-year-old grandparents that I would be participating in the Cherry Blossom Festival this year, my grandpa’s face lit up, and I realized that the festival gave him something to look forward to. Though I am extremely busy and stressed out keeping up with the demands of teaching, grad school, and now the festival, I think of the kibou that my participation in this festival has given my grandpa, and that makes it all worth it.”



High School: Mililani High School

College/Degree: Leeward Community College, Associate of Arts

Occupation: Dance instructor

Hobbies: Dancing, reading and crafting

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“To me, kibou means to live positively so that I can become successful in life and give back to my community. For years, I struggled with deciding on a career path because I couldn’t commit to a field of study. While attending college, I decided to audition for a theater production with encouragement from my instructor. I instantly connected with my cast mates and felt a sense of belonging. I have been dancing since I was three years old and performing again made me realize the love and passion I have for the arts. I have decided to go back to school and pursue a career in acting, despite the challenges. I hope to inspire others and become a representative for Asian Americans in the fine arts. Though this year has been challenging, I am grateful for my experiences and friendships made possible through participating in the 69th Cherry Blossom Festival.”



High School: Punahou School

College/Degree: Chapman University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Minor in Economics

Occupation: Collections associate

Hobbies: Carefree cooking, outdoor yoga and carpool karaoke with my family

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“In these unprecedented times, kibou (hope) is integrated into my life, now more than ever. Capturing glimpses of light which shine daily reminds me to embrace kibou and appreciate the good in every situation. Uncovering the kibou that each day offers, I remember anything is possible and the best is ʻyet’ to come.

“The word ʻyet’ has been repeated throughout integral moments of my life. My mother, the teacher, encourages her students to say ʻyet’ versus ʻI cannot.’ The word ʻyet’ transformed the attitudes of my novice dance students into confident performers. And although I just received my degree, and have embarked on a new career, the word ʻyet’ motivates me to dream big as an aspiring business woman. When life seems uncertain or the light – which reveals kibou – elusive, my wish is that we continue to hold hope in our hearts and recognize the power of ‘yet.’”



High School: Kalani High School

College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Occupation: Civil engineer

Hobbies: Hiking, going to the beach and painting

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“Generally, I am a very positive person and like to look at the world with a ʻglass half-full’ mentality. In a world where so many things are beyond my control, there is one thing that is always within my control: my attitude. In my daily life, I make it a habit to have kibou in everything and to maintain a positive outlook on all situations. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, ‘we must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.’ I look back at this quote as a reminder to me during darker times that darkness eventually fades, but hope never dies. Kibou motivates me to be better in every aspect of my life whether that is as an engineer, daughter, sister or friend. It is the force that drives me to do better today than I did yesterday and to have aspirations for tomorrow.”



High School: Notre Dame Academy High School (Los Angeles)

College/Degree: Chaminade University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (anticipated 2022)

Occupation: Student and certified nursing assistant

Hobbies: Hiking, swimming and cooking

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“In my life I find that kibou, hope, is something that has always been present. When I was younger I always hoped that I could make a difference in the world. By going into nursing, I have an opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives and share kibou with my patients. As an aspiring nurse, the opportunity to spread hope to my patients when they are faced with immense hardship is what motivates me to do well each day. Even when struggling, the endurance I witness from my patients encourages me to continue helping others and to continue instilling kibou in the world. Therefore, as I near the end of my college education, I am optimistic about my future and my ability to spread kibou to others.”



High School: Pearl City High School

College/Degree: Leeward Community College, Associate in Science in Natural Science; University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Bachelor of Science in Molecular Cell Biology, Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

Occupation: College professor

Hobbies: Golfing, doing costume makeup and going on walks around the neighborhood

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“I live by the saying ‘expect the worst, but hope for the best.’ When faced with an obstacle I always ‘expect the worst’ and prepare myself physically, mentally and emotionally for any outcome. Simultaneously, I ‘hope for the best’ and maintain a hopeful attitude towards the situation thus having a more positive outlook on life. To me, the belief of hope and being hopeful constantly pushes me to induce change in my life so that I can grow through adversity and reach for the outcome that I want.

“I try to instill this in my students by reminding them of how resilient they are for adapting to these unpredictable changes and still finding a way to do school during a worldwide pandemic – having hope to still succeed academically. As long as they still have that hope for a better future, they will always set themselves up for success.”



High School: Sacred Hearts Academy

College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Human Resources Management

Occupation: Sales gallery coordinator

Hobbies: Learning to sew from my mother, jogging and cooking

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“A quote dear to me is ‘Everything you go through grows you.’ I always want to take the opportunity to develop myself. For the past couple of years, I took the initiative to learn the violin, take up sewing, obtain my real estate license, study Japanese, practice cooking and volunteer. I am continuing to learn all that I can for a better tomorrow in hopes of passing on my knowledge to my future children and others.

“Through coming together, I am building stronger bonds with my family, friends and the people I meet. Not only did I try to work on myself, but I also hope for change in my community by sharing. My hope for the future is to bring about unity amongst one another. There are many struggles that we can overcome if we work together. Hope is the fuel that drives me to keep moving forward.”



High School: Kalani High School

College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Occupation: Mechanical engineer

Hobbies: Okinawan taiko, learning to play the sanshin, spending time with family and friends

How do you incorporate kibou (hope) into your life?

“Moments before her first taiko performance, I noticed one of my four-year-old students nervous and standing alone. Kneeling down, I reminded her of how far she had come from her first practice, when I found her timid and crying behind her mother. Nurtured week after week, she built up the courage to join the class and eventually helped lead in stretches. Seeing her smile on stage was such a fulfilling experience, serving as a powerful reminder to the importance of spreading hope and positivity within our community.

“I practice demonstrating a daily act of kindness hoping to empower others to look forward to a better tomorrow. Whether it be a simple smile to someone at the store, serving food at the IHS homeless shelter, or check-ins with my grandma living on Kaua‘i, I believe that sharing constant hope and optimism has shaped me to become the person I am today.”


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