Author: Lexus Yamashiro

Jeremy Robinson

Majoring in mechanical engineering, 22-year-old Jeremy Robinson is completing pre-requisites at KCC. From Royal Kunia, Robinson said his decision to go to KCC for his studies was because tuition was more affordable compared to UH Mānoa, and since he is paying out of pocket KCC accommodates to his financial status.

As a mechanical engineering major, Robinson hopes to become a commercial pilot so that he can build experience to one day fly a jet. 

“Every time, when I was a little kid, I always liked going to those air shows at Kāneʻohe Bay, so that’s what made me interested in becoming a pilot,” Robinson said.

Within two years, Robinson is looking to transfer to UH Mānoa so that he can achieve his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. 

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Ikona Kahana-Sanchez

From Wahiawa, 20-year-old Ikona Kahana-Sanchez is a nursing major attending KCC. In her first year of school, Kahana-Sanchez said her decision to go into nursing sparked when she volunteered at Wahiawā Medical Center during her sophomore year at Leilehua High School in 2015. Exposed to the medical field and aging community within the medical center, she became interested in how these aspects can be further studied.

Kahana-Sanchez said that her grandmother also played a role in influencing her to go into nursing. In 2015 her grandmother went into surgery for a total knee replacement but after it shredded a vein and artery, it prompted a life-threatening situation that required assistance and care from Kahana-Sanchez. Because her grandmother could no longer continue working as a medicist in the office at Wahiawā Medical Center, Kahana-Sanchez asked to fill the position for her.

Becoming significantly involved with the duties and tasks that her grandmother’s position required, this led Kahana-Sanchez to further pursue medical assistance. As she takes and eventually completes her prerequisites, Kahana-Sanchez hopes to take her schooling to a higher level of education, debating between a school in Oregon, UH Hilo, or Chaminade University.

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Marcus Fikse-Thompson

Marcus Fikse-Thompson is the coordinator for KCC’s culinary arts Hawaiʻi Cook Apprenticeship program and Hawaiʻi Restaurant Management Apprenticeship program. Originally from Granite Falls, Wash., the 32-year-old got into his position as program coordinator in May 2017 after building a connection with Ronald Takahashi, KCC’s culinary arts department chair. The two worked together to bring these apprenticeship programs to life and were able to do so with the help of receiving a grant from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

“It’s a really incredible program, I love this job mainly because it feels like I work for a non-profit in a lot of ways because I get to go out to restaurants and go out to the community and tell people about opportunities for them to be able to get free culinary training,” Fikse-Thompson said. 

With both programs lasting about 25 to 30 weeks long, Fikse-Thompson said he is hoping to recruit more people to take part in these programs. Those who are interested can apply online for the next round which will begin on March 25 for the Hawaiʻi Restaurant Management Apprenticeship program and March 29 for the Hawaiʻi Cook Apprenticeship program. 

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Voices & Views

  • Alyssa BataraAlyssa Batara
    Alyssa Batara is a fourth-year KCC student taking her pre-requisites for nursing. Batara has lived in Hawaii her entire life and eventually plans to transfer to either Chaminade or HPU when finished here. During her senior year of high school, Batara had originally thought of majoring in fashion designing but said that it would be hard to go to the mainland for school without any family around. Batara said that her pre-requisites for nursing are very interesting; she is currently studying zoology and microbiology. She stated that it's all about memorizing detail for exams that help her to understand her assignments.

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