Kaimana Scholarship Winners Bios
Kaydee Rapozo, Waiakea High School
Kaydee was a four-year letter winner in basketball, a team captain during her junior and senior seasons, and twice earned all-league mention. She was active in the Key Club and National Honor Society and served as the student government vice president. She also volunteered with the Hawaii County Nutrition Program for the elderly, an experience that inspired her career path. Kaydee will stay close to home and attend the University of Hawaii at Hilo. She’ll major in biology and pursue a career in geriatrics so she can continue to serve her community’s elderly population and their families.
Cory Yamagata, Kealakehe High School
Cory played soccer and was a four-year varsity letter winner and captain of the tennis team. He has been devoted to community service since joining the Boy Scouts when he was 6. In high school, he expanded his volunteer work through the Interact Club and National Honor Society. His 12-year journey has taught him humility through activities such as refurbishing local schools, promoting breast cancer awareness, and performing environmental cleanups on the shores of East Hawaii. Cory will attend Santa Clara University in California to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
Tiffany Chang, Punahou School
Tiffany competed with Punahou’s golf and volleyball squads. She was also the Most Inspirational Player on her club volleyball team that was ranked as high as No. 1 nationally. She is the founder of a nonprofit called The Canvas. The Canvas provides a collaborative learning space where public and private school students pursue their academic and extracurricular passions while building relationships with the professional community. Tiffany will attend the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School where she will major in business and minor in natural sciences.
Ayumi Sakamoto, Iolani School
A four-year member of the golf squad, Ayumi helped the Raiders capture a state title in 2012. She was the founder of the Kupuna Care Club, which reaches out to nursing home residents. She also founded a support group for scoliosis patients. As an 8th grader, Ayumi’s golf career was put on hold for two years due to severe scoliosis. She credited her recovery to the medical care she received and it has inspired her to become an orthopedic surgeon. Ayumi will attend Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where she’ll major in biology and begin her educational journey to the medical field.
Kimberly Uehisa, Island Pacific Academy
Kimberly, known as “Kim-Possible” by her teachers and coaches, participated in paddling, tennis, and track, and was team captain of the cross country squad. She was a member of the National Honor Society, student government, and one of the founding members of her school’s robotics team, which competed in national and international competitions. She also founded her school’s Support our Troops Club, which donated Christmas gifts for disabled veterans and their families and coordinated beautification efforts at Punchbowl and Pearl Harbor. This fall, Kimberly will attend the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, R.I. She’ll then eventually make her way to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where she’ll major in engineering.
Erik Yamada, Iolani School
Erik played three different sports in high school at Iolani, highlighted by a stellar four-year career in basketball. He was team captain, an all-state selection, and starting guard on the 2014 state championship team. While at Iolani, Erik created a Financial Literacy Class for underprivileged teens. He also started the TASSEL Club that taught phonetics to Cambodian children via video chat. During his time on campus, Erik was praised for his leadership, determination, and empathy for others, and was awarded the Princeton Book Award for excellence in athletics, academics, and character. This fall, he’ll head to Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he’ll study engineering.
Nicole Carney, Kauai High School
Nicole competed in air riflery and was a four-year captain on her school’s paddling squad. She volunteered with a number of organizations including the Salvation Army, United Way, Special Olympics, and the Wilcox Key Kids. As a senior, she launched a project called “Stitches of Love” that combined her passion for sewing with service to others. With the support of local businesses, she designed and sewed quilts to donate to long-term care patients. An aspiring teacher, Nicole will attend the University of Northern Colorado this fall to pursue a degree in elementary education with a minor in special education.
Myah Post, Kapaa High School
Myah competed on Kapaa’s paddling team and was captain of the swim team. She was also a member of her school’s marching band and the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club. She volunteered with a number of organizations but made her greatest impact as a four-year member of her school’s Peer Mediation Club, including a role as club president her senior year. During her time, the club expanded its reach throughout Kauai and to the Neighbor Islands, helping others on meaningful issues such as bullying. Myah will attend the University of Northern Colorado, where she plans to study biological sciences and eventually attend medical school.
Luke Kikukawa, Molokai High School
Luke competed in cross country, swimming, tennis, and track for the Farmers. He helped preserve his island’s natural and cultural resources as a member of the Molokai Earth Preservation Organization and Leadership Experience Organization. Luke’s aptitude for science led him to take college courses at the University of Alaska, Anchorage; complete a biomedical internship at the University of Hawai‘i’s John A. Burns School of Medicine; and serve as vice president of the Hawaii state chapter of the Health Occupations Students of America club. Luke will attend Middlebury College in Vermont and major in biology. He plans to pursue a medical degree so he can return to Molokai and serve his community as an emergency room doctor.
Christopher Kim, Maui High School
Christopher’s sports at Maui High included bowling, cross country, and tennis. His resume is a long list of academic awards, volunteer work, and leadership positions. He’s earned regional, national, and international recognition in such diverse fields as communications, history, science, and engineering. This past year, he met with President Barack Obama as Hawaii’s delegate in the United States Senate Youth Program. He’s also dedicated hundreds of hours of community service, including hosting an island-wide sustainability conference for elementary school students. Christopher will attend Yale University this fall, where he’ll major in computer science.
Nina Bean, Kaimuki High School
Nina lettered in cross country, track, and wrestling for the Bulldogs. She competed on the state level in wrestling and finished third in the state in pole vaulting. She’s dedicated her high school years to volunteering in activities that promote environmental conservation, restoration, and cultural awareness through such organizations as Kupu Hawaii and the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps.
Her experience with Kupu made her realize how much protection Hawaii’s natural resources need and how much of a difference one person can make. Nina graduated as a valedictorian with 29 college credits and will attend the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to study marine biology.
Mari Domingo, Mililani High School
Mari was a four-year member of Mililani’s track and field team and has been a competitive gymnast since the fourth grade. Mari combined her love for gymnastics with service to others by coordinating an annual food drive at a statewide gymnastic meet. She was involved in many leadership positions and community service projects, but was most devoted to the Hawaii Meth Project. As a part of the project’s Teen Advisory Council, she was especially proud of her work in encouraging her peers to live a healthy, drug-free life. Mari is heading to Oregon State University this fall and will major in bioengineering. She hopes to return to Hawaii as a medical doctor or biomedical engineer.
Tammy Ko, Roosevelt High School
Tammy played tennis and soft tennis for the Rough Riders, serving as a four-year captain. She helped her team to a pair of OIA championships and fostered camaraderie with community service projects. Tammy dedicated countless hours through a wide array of organizations, including the Red Cross, LEO, Interact, and Serteen clubs. Tennis has taught her that “true triumph is in the effort, not in the result.” Tammy will attend the University of Southern California where she’ll study biomedical engineering. She hopes to eventually pioneer products that will bring Hawaii closer to economic and medical sustainability.
Kiana Paakaula-Reis, Waialua High School
Kiana competed in basketball and cheerleading and was a two-year captain for both squads.
Her leadership extended far beyond sports. She was Waialua’s student body president, the school’s representative for the Hawaii State Student Council, and an intern with Sen. Brian Schatz. She was devoted to her North Shore community, whether it was fundraising for the Waialua Pop Warner Association or earning the most outstanding volunteer award for the Waialua District Park Summer Fun program. She juggled all of this despite being a caretaker for three sick adults in her family. This fall, Kiana will attend Northern Arizona University where she’ll be enrolled in the Hotel and Restaurant Management program.
Laura Tyler, Castle High School
Laura was a trailblazer at Castle High School. She was the first female to make the varsity football team and ultimately became the team’s starting kicker as a senior. Laura also participated in soccer, track, and paddling for the Knights. As a senior, she educated other students on proper concussion recovery and treatment to help them make sound decisions on their health after a concussion. She was a member of the National Honor Society and volunteered at food pantries, medical supply warehouses, preschools, and environmental cleanups during missions to the Neighbor Islands and the Mainland. This fall, Laura will be studying in Purdue University’s School of Nursing. She hopes to become a nurse anesthetist.