Author: Lexus Yamashiro

Geneva Costales

Geneva Costales is a fourth-year student majoring in Family Resources. The 24-year-old recalled times when her aunt would tell her that she should attend KCC when she was older, however, Costales was considering to start off at UH Mānoa. Her plans changed when her parents didn’t approve of her wanting to become a high school counselor, telling her that she would have to pay for college on her own, which led to her decision of attending KCC which she said is more realistic for those who aren’t as financially stable.

Costales said that her teachers have been, and are, her biggest influences, some even portraying a parental figure to her. Choosing to attend KCC is what she said was a good decision that has given her experiences that have positively impacted her life. Serving as a Hoʻokele Peer Mentor since Spring 2012, Costales said that choosing to become one has helped her to boost her confidence, as well as helping her to improve her leadership skills.

“The one thing I like about KCC is that there really is a sense of community, and you can feel that and see that all around you,” Costales said.

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James Spray

James Spray is a second-year student ready to graduate from KCC this May. Majoring in Liberal Arts, Spray is looking to attend Arizona State University (ASU) to major in Technical Theatre. He said that going into the theater tech field while at ASU would be like having a job as a carpenter, where he would learn set design and drafting, which connects to his interest of building and creating products. Spray hopes to also play volleyball while at ASU.

Spray shared that his major originally was Kinesiology, however, after taking a theater class at KCC, he was convinced to get back into his passion for theater, recalling memories of fun times he had while taking theater classes for three years in high school. He has been working at the Kennedy Theatre and Chaminade University’s theater departments as a project assistant.

Being that Spray will be graduating this semester, he said that he will miss the professors and counselors the most because of how supportive and helpful they have been. Spray said that his teacher for an Introduction to Health and Wellness class that he took during his first semester at KCC was the most influential teacher that he has had.

“The way he ran the classroom was so different. We were going outside to learn stuff, we were exercising,” Spray said. “He was very knowledgeable, of course, and he shared a lot of his stories which really kind of connects the teacher to the student which is really nice.”

Spray said that the biggest obstacle that he’s faced while in school was finding that drive to stay focused, especially when there are only a few weeks of the semester left.

“I’m slowly going down in classes, and [I’m thinking] ‘I just want this to be over’, but in the back of my head I’m like ‘I need to pass these classes’,” Spray said. “So I would say finding drive in your lazy moments and finding motivation.”

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Hiroe Iwamoto

Professor Hiroe Iwamoto has been teaching Japanese at KCC for about four years. Originally from Okayama, Japan, Professor Iwamoto came to Hawaiʻi after marrying her husband, who is a local Japanese American. Before coming to Hawaiʻi, Professor Iwamoto had been teaching at the college level in Japan for about 15 years, and six years in Pennsylvania. She prefers teaching at colleges when there is an opportunity, which led to her decision to teach at KCC.

“I’m really enjoying teaching Japanese,” Professor Iwamoto said. “I hope I can inspire more students and I want to tell them that learning Japanese is fun.”

Professor Iwamoto said that she enjoys how the students and colleagues on campus are friendly and easy to be around. She also enjoys the KCC campus; although the campus has old buildings, she says that the nature that is seen throughout the campus is what fits her image of how she views Hawaiʻi.

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Voices & Views

  • Lara Domogma and Rhea AninagLara Domogma and Rhea Aninag
    Lara Domogma (right) is the president of the Bayanihan Club at KCC, and Rhea Aninag (left) is the secretary of the Bayanihan Club. Together with the rest of the club, Lara and Rhea strive to share Filipino culture and values with the rest of the school. “Filipino culture has been a big part of me since I was growing up,” Lara said. “For every decision I make, Filipino culture has been part of it. For example, my parents treat me differently because they’re from the Philippines.” “You know how there’s a lot of Filipino-Americans living in Hawai‘i and America? Well, a lot of them do not know their Filipino heritage,” Rhea said. “I want to bring that up to these students who may or may not know their heritage. With this club, we hope to help them gain more knowledge about Philippines’ history, values, and culture.” Lara and Rhea have brought the Filipino community at KCC together by organizing events such as giving away free halo-halo, a Filipino dessert similar to shave ice, and a karaoke party.

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