Category: Voices & Views

Kenta Seo

Kenta Seo is originally from Tokyo, Japan. He has been in Hawaii for five months and is pursuing a degree in Hospitality. Seo would like to stay in Hawaii, but thinks his options are limited due to visa restrictions.
He is currently working on an ESOL class so that he can improve his English for upcoming pre-requirements.
Back in his home country, the 27-year-old used to be a swimming coach. He did that for nearly 10 years.

Daniel Driskill

Daniel Driskill is a 24-year-old from ʻĀina Haina in his first semester at KCC, pursuing a career as a local reggae star. Growing up, he loved playing the ‘ukulele and never stopped. The professional career for Daniel started off as a movement of appreciation but quickly grew to be a dream come true, much like the title of his newest single “Dream Come True” which can be found on YouTube under the name Haole Boi.

While Daniel does shows in places like Sheraton in Waikīkī and Down Beat Lounge in Chinatown, he stays busy by writing, mixing, and promoting his own music and music videos. Daniel also stays busy with contract work fixing houses and training in taekwondo. While these may all be mentally and physically straining for some, Daniel is passionate about sports and finds taekwondo to be relaxing, using it as his relaxation time.

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.

Michael 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.

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.

Clement Chow

Clement Chow is a Liberal Arts – Business major in his first year at KCC. He has been in Hawaii for three years. As soon as he graduated high school, he applied to KCC to further his education. 

Chow would like to to start his own business one day, but he is not sure about the kind of business yet. He used to live with his parents, who just moved to Palao last March. He currently lives with his sister. 

In his free time, the 18-year-old enjoys playing tennis, basketball and working out. He is a certified diver. He used to dive with sharks back in Palao, where he got his certification. 

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.

Michael Sheehey

Michael Sheehey serves as KCC’s retention coordinator. New to this position since the start of the Fall 2018 semester, Sheehey moved from Pāhoa to Honolulu to jump at this career opportunity. As a retention coordinator, Sheehey works with KCC faculty to oversee campus-wide initiatives to target student success.

Sheehey said that working within the community college gives him this feeling of a “small town vibe.”

“You have the convenience to know who you’re working with and have conversations with these people outside of the context of a specific problem or challenge you’re trying to address,” Sheehey said. “We have to collaborate and cooperate for the sake of our own success.”

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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.