Category: Features

Pono Kuliaeloaʻa Naʻauao Hōlualoa Kahili

Pono Kuliaeloaʻa Naʻauao Hōlualoa Kahili lives in Maunolaha with his wife and extended family. Kahili is 75 percent Hawaiian. His name was chosen by his father and is roughly translated to concepts of “enlightenment” and “wisdom.”

Although he currently works in the engineering department of a hotel loading dock, the Liberal Arts major is uninterested in the field. Instead, he wants to pursue something in the area of mechanics after he is done at KCC.

“I wanna be able to fix something,” he said. “Look at it and fix it … I’m thinking about doing that.”

In his free time, Kahili likes to work in his yard with his grandma. She does the planting and he helps by doing the heavy labor when they work together.

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Ken Imamura

Ken Imamura, a 43-year-old veteran currently living in Kapahulu, is currently in KCC for his core requirement classes. After finishing his core classes he would like to apply to Hawaiʻi Pacific University, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, or KCC’s nursing school in order to pursue his dream of becoming a nurse and hopefully move onto becoming a nurse anesthetist.

“I love it here, you can’t beat the weather. You can’t beat the temperature of the water,” Imamura said. “You try go back to California and the water is cold.”

Imamura strives to be the cool uncle by taking his niece to the beach and local activities.

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Dani Awang

Dani Awang, a 30-year old aspiring private chef, is currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at KCC.

“I actually don’t have a drivers license,” Dani said. “My favorite thing about Hawai’i has been the public transportation. Back in New York, it’s very chaotic but here it’s more my speed.

Dani is from is Queens, New York and has lived in Hawai‘i for nine months; she has wanted to move to Hawai’i since 2008. When she isn’t busy with school and studying, she likes to binge watch shows. “I just finished watching Trublood,” Dani said. “Now I’ve started watching Living Single; it’s such a classic.”

Dani, a former military member, hopes to graduate from the culinary program and include nutritional training in her career. She wants to show people that they can eat healthily and have delicious meals.

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Yonik Gomez

Yonik Gomez, a former Marine, is currently studying to get into the radiology technician program at KCC.

“Right now I’m trying to get into the rad tech program. I’m almost done with my prereqs, but I have to wait until next year to take the placement test.” Yonik said,” If I don’t get into that program, I’ll probably go to UH West (Oahu) and do their Health Administration program.

Yonik used to work in communications in the Marine Corps and has lived on O‘ahu since 2012. He travels from the west side of the island, leaving as early as 6 a.m. to beat traffic and find parking on campus. In his free time, he practices tattooing himself because he is a huge fan of body art.

“Most of my tattoos, I’ve gotten by other tattoo artists.” Yonik said, “My upper body has tattoos from California and Thailand, my legs are all me; I did one recently on my ankle.”

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Alexandria Womack

Alexandria Womack, a 21-year old aspiring clinical psychologist, is currently enrolled in the Liberal Arts degree program at KCC.

“I love how accommodating the professors at KCC are,” Alexandria said. “I feel that our relationships with our professors are more sincere, which contributes a lot to the success of a student.”

Alexandria is from Lāi’e, Oahu on the North Shore but currently lives in town near McCully. In her free time, she loves watching new films and tv shows on Netflix. “Orange Is the New Black is my favorite series to watch,” Alexandria said. “I really enjoy how diverse the show is and the stories being told.”

Alexandria plans to graduate from UH Mānoa with a BA in Psychology and hopes to attend Clark University, a historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Voices & Views

  • Michael KwakMichael Kwak
    Michael Kwak is a 2018 graduate of KCC who received his Associate in Science in Hospitality and Tourism. From Honolulu, the 22-year-old chose this pathway because he was unsure of what he wanted to study, believing that this would be a safe start to his college career. Tired of the restaurant business, Kwak said that he would most likely want to find a hotel-related position if he were to follow a career based on his degree. While attending hospitality courses when he was working toward his associate's degree, Kwak shared that he enjoyed learning from his professors such as Kawehi Sellers and Palakiko Yagodich. Kwak returned to KCC this school year to complete his pre-requisites for a smooth transition to UH Mānoa in the near future. There, Kwak hopes to focus his studies in the Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology (MBB) program. His passion for science is what drew Kwak to this program along with his interest in future technologies.