Kale‘a Paiva is the recipient of the first academic scholarship awarded by The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas. Paiva – a graduate of Kula Kaiapuni, King Kekaulike High School’s Hawaiian immersion program – completed her high school career with a 4.02 GPA and began her first semester at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington to further her education in environmental studies.
The new scholarship – named Kaunaloa I Ka ‘Imi Na‘auao (determined perseverance in seeking education) – was founded to honor the resort’s core values of commitment to community and Hawaiian culture. The resort will award the annual academic scholarship for excellence to a Hawaiian immersion high school graduate of Maui who has received acceptance and will attend an accredited college or university in the fall.
“I am extremely happy and thankful to have received this scholarship because it is helping me attend school on the mainland, expand my knowledge and share how important it is to represent and be proud of our culture and language,” said Paiva, who is looking forward to making new friends and volunteering within the surrounding community. The lessons that she learned while attending Kula Kaiapuni will be carried on for the years to come, she said. “Kula Kaiapuni doesn’t just teach academics. They also teach Hawaiian values like working together, compassion, learning how to forgive others and malama ‘aina (taking care of the land),” she said. After completing her education in Washington, Paiva plans to move back to Maui and find an occupation that focuses on giving back to the land and community.
Her passion for perpetuating the Hawaiian culture, nurturing the environment, and volunteering within the community directly reflects the values of The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, said a resort spokesperson.
Photo courtesy of Westin Nanea Ocean Villas