Kamehameha Schools students from all three campuses reminisce on the many blessings that they have received from their founder.
“I’ve probably gone to ten Founder’s Days since then because I love that feeling of Founder’s Day and I love the fact, as far as Hoʻomau, as far as the whole campus being there for one thing, and that’s to pay respect to Bernice Pauahi Bishop,” says Rick Kaponowaiwaiola Barboza, who is a 1993 graduate from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama.
As the Co-Owner of Hui Kū Mauli Ola and Co-Founder of Papahana Kuaola, his work is an embodiment of what he has gained as a pua of Pauahi.
“We’re not just doing restoration work or landscaping work on Pauahi land, you know, we’re doing it throughout the state. So being able to tap into other parts of the state that is not necessarily on KS land, it’s the same thing that what the school itself is trying to accomplish with its education program. Whether it’d be how they contribute to the charter schools, or their numerous preschools, that’s what we’re trying to do with our plants.”
“I think one of the things that I’ve learned from Kamehameha Schools is that we should always be striving to be the best that we can always be, no matter what,” says Brenn Kilinahe-Puahi Nakamitsu, who is a 2006 graduate from Kamehameha Schools Maui and is now the Film Production Manager at Bringham Young University here in Hawaiʻi.
“Filming and doing any kind of video production has always been a big passion of mine. That is one of the few ways that we can voice our opinions and it’s one of the biggest forms of media today.”
While kūlia is something that he carries with him in all that he does, Nakamitsu is striving to be that Hawaiian voice in media production, and in honor of Princess Pauahi.
“I think for me, the biggest thing that I see myself trying to do is being able to tell stories from a Hawaiian perspective and I think that’s the way that I want to be able to contribute and return what Pauahi has given to me.”
For Jean Eleanor Kuʻulei Bezilla, this is something that she is privileged to do as a 2008 graduate from Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi who is now working as a Producer, Writer and Reporter for ʻŌiwi Television, the only Hawaiian language and cultural network in the nation.
“Being a producer and writer at ʻŌiwi Television, I meet individuals from different organizations, whether it’s in education, or environmental studies. And it’s really inspiring and empowering to see other native Hawaiians, and even some who are Kamehameha graduates themselves, taking initiative and really contributing to our native Hawaiian community.”
“That is something that I think I am able to do at ʻŌiwi Television, something that allows me to hoʻomau our loina Hawaiʻi, to be able to share our moʻolelo, to be able to communicate with other indigenous people around the world, and to be able to really encourage other Kamehameha students today, to see the opportunities that we have to be able to empower community,” she continues to say.
Mahalo to all the good work being done in our communities by nā pua a Pauahi. Happy Founderʻs Day!