UH Hilo Spring 2021 Commencement Celebration Personal Messages
- Graduates Looking to the Future
- Graduates express their gratitude
- UH Hilo graduates share words of wisdom
Graduates Looking to the Future
I want to thank my parents and brother through this journey in my life and encouraging me to follow my own path. I want to thank my friends for making every moment, on and off campus, fun and enjoyable.
I want to thank my boss for encouraging me to follow my own path and teaching me important skills that I can carry through my entire life. I also want to thank my professors through this journey and teaching me valuable lessons.
— Candace Emiko Karvas
He leo mahalo kēia i nā mākua, nā kūpuna, a me nā hoa i kū hoʻokahi me aʻu ma kēia ala ʻimi naʻauao. Ua hele aku kākou me ka manaʻo paʻa, ua paio aku au me ka manaʻo koa, ua lanakila au me ka manaʻo pono, a ua mākaukau au me ka manaʻo wiwo ʻole.
— Alaka'i Iaea-Russell
Yeah! We did it again. Thanks to you guys for being with me every day and making me want to work hard with full strength and speed. At first, it is just the feeling of being part of the celebration, but now it actually the meaning of the celebration. Without you guys, I will not be able to do this alone. I sometimes say things you guys don't deserve, but nobody is all perfect in everything they do. Nothing will stop me from working to be the best mom and wife. I love you guys <3..
— Lavonna Zarred
Coming from a small town, I have grown so much. UH Hilo has helped me grow into the person I am now. Thanks to UH Hilo, I have seen the world, I have learned about so many other cultures, and I feel confident going into the next stage of my life.
— Sienna Lynn Wareham
Please let grandma Brown bring peaches to your wedding.
— Michelle Grant
Thank you to my friends and family for helping me get through undergrad. I’m psyched for the future!
— Taylor M. Hiraki
Throughout my college experience, I experienced hardships I never thought I would face and lows that felt too difficult to conquer. I continued forward and no matter how many times I fell, I always got back up and tried again. There's only one direction you can go from falling down, it's up. Continue to dream big and strive for excellence. When you finally make it, it'll be better than words can describe.
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
- Steve Jobs
— Victoria Akemi Xinh Rapoza
Fastest, yet longest four years of my life... Lots of late nights and stressful weeks, but I made it through. I'd like to send a big thank you to my family and professors for all you've done for me over the years. I appreciate the sacrifices, confidence and support you gave me to succeed. Also, one last thanks to all of the people I've met over the years. Made some great memories with some amazing people, couldn't have asked for a better community to be a part of. Sadly, it's time to move on to the next chapter of my life, but I'm excited to see where happens next. Mahaloz!
— Dyllon K. Oishi-Mochida
I could have never done this on my own. Thank you to everyone that inspired me to go back to school, to all those that kept me engaged in school, and to everyone that supported me during this long journey. You were there for me, and I will be there for you.
Now, onward to the next challenge.
— John Takao Kuroda
I encourage, new and current, students to not be afraid to seek or ask for help from others.
My favorite memories on campus is having ACA club meetings then going to eat and hang out afterwards. Through this, I have gained amazing friends for a lifetime.
— Candace Emiko Karvas
I will forever remember my time at DKICP and the great memories I made with some amazing people. Thank you to all of my collegiate professors who made an impact on my education and most importantly, thank you for not making IT mandatory! I enjoyed my time in Hawaii because I was able to study on my own time instead of going to class! Haha :)
Good luck to all of my classmates and all future pharmacists at DKICP!
— Calvin Riley Ostler
My experience here at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo has been nothing short of life changing. I have learned so much about myself and the power of knowledge through the process of education here. Every single one of my professors have ushered a level of knowledge I will carry throughout my life with so much pride.
— Mirvat Abdelhay Mohamed
"So this is how schooling ends. With thunderous applause." - Padmé Amigraduate
— Jordan Robert Drewer
After 5 years, I am thrilled to be able to graduate finally. This has been a long journey, but I have learned and grown so much from it. Through my time at UH Hilo, various summer programs in Arizona, and a semester in Europe, I have learned the value of patience, independence, and society at a world and local level. I want to thank my friends for sticking with me through all the highs and lows of my college career. I want to thank the Dorrance Scholarship Program for working so hard to make me a productive citizen of the world. Finally, I want to thank my family for supporting me through my 22 years of growth that have made me into the man I am today. I love you all, and may the Force be with you!
— Jordan Robert Drewer
Thank you family & friends for supporting me throughout my college journey! Next up...who knows... the hospital I guess.
— Tyler Kekoa Matsukawa
I'm so happy and blessed for everyone I have met, the memories I have made, and for the person I am today. I have truly found myself here and it wouldn't have been possible without all of you. I'm grateful for the challenges and failures, the growth and gratitude, the happiness and confidence, I've gained throughout my time here at UH Hilo! I may not know what the future has in store but I'm ready for it. And so the adventure begins!
— Celina Marie Palafox
There are miracles in me
waiting their turn to happen
I am never giving up on myself
— Billie Jean Garcia
The Best is yet to come.
— Lyrik Aryan Taya McNeil
I came here with the thought that adventure is what makes a good life great and I am leaving knowing that it is actually good people that make all the difference. Those in my life have taught me to be a better person and I feel I can go forward as a more confident version of myself knowing how to serve my community. Mahalo nui loa.
— Lindsey Marie Rohlf
It’s been an amazing experience to have attended UH Hilo, I especially want to thank my professors for teaching me all that I know now. A HUI HOU MĀKOU
— Brianna Nohealani Yoshiko Ellegard
I believe in Aloha and kindness, God first, Love for my Ohana, meaningful friendships, counting my blessings, and giving to others. I choose to see the good in life even during times of struggle. I am grateful for the life I have and for all the wonderful people that make this journey worthwhile. A special Mahalo to Mike for everything that you are to me, my children Crystal, DJ, Dustin, Jazzlin, and my grandbabies. Momsie did it!!
— Jennifer Marie Kuuipo Carter
My favorite memories at UH Hilo would consist of trips involving the service learning program. I've learned so much about this beautiful island and it's history.
— Cheyenne N.L. Higa
If it were not for both the Performing Arts Department and Gender and Women's Studies program at UH Hilo, I would not have grown to be so passionate for activism and the art of acting, nor would I be the empowered, driven, woman I am today. I am inspired not only to pursue my art, but to do everything I can to give back to my community and make the world a better place. I am wholeheartedly grateful for the incredible instructors I have had that have helped liberate me to bloom. We are the future. <3
— Dayva Summer Escobar
While I would have liked to finish out my undergraduate in person, this has still been my experience. All the knowledge that I have gained, from both in person and virtual learning platforms, can never be taken away from me. Knowledge is the one thing in this world that can never be taken away from you.
— Victoria Ann Malia Jose
After several challenges of my journey in college, it has finally come to an end. I want to thank all my professors, family, and friends for your continuous encouragement and support. The advice and lessons you’ve shared with me will definitely help me in my future endeavors.
Congratulations to all graduates!
— Shiela Mae Almazan
To my future self, Pulama you da man brah! Don't ever give up on your dreams. You can do and be anything you set your mind to. Remember, everything happens for a reason, and Never forget who you are or where you come from.
Until we meet again Hawaiian,
Ahuihou & Alooooooohaaaa!!
— Pulama Louis
This has been a ver long journey for me, but without all the help, love, motivations, and supports from my family and friends, this journey wouldn’t be this amazing and successful. Big thanks to my family for everything you all put in to make sure I get through. I thank God for everything.
To Mom and Dad, and all my siblings.
I Love you All
— Royce Predrick
As a STEM student, I've come to understand the importance of asking questions. It's the center of what drives new studies, discoveries, and research. But I must admit, some subjects are exceptionally difficult to understand. For me, they were Calculus and Physics. It can get frustrating when you're so lost that you can't even formulate a question to lead you out of the abyss of confusion. But here's a quote by Yaa Gyasi in Transcendent Kingdom that I've come to appreciate:
"We don't know what we don't know. We don't even know the questions we need to ask in order to find out, but when we learn one tiny little thing, a dim light comes on in a dark hallway, and suddenly a new question appears."
— Amy Odaira
I would like to thank my family who is my motivation for bettering myself and furthering my education. Without you all, I wouldn’t be the strong, confident woman I am today and for that I am eternally grateful.
— Shania Marie Rapoza
This special shoutout goes to everyone who supported me with my study abroad journey in Japan. To everyone at the Center for Global Education and Exchange. Carolina, for checking in on me every week and being a personal therapist. Angela, for inspiring me to go above and beyond. Jeri, for handling my credit transfers like the pro you are. To Dr. Honda and all the faculty who wrote countless letters of recommendation for me so that I could enter advanced programs while abroad. To Dr. Ohara and Saft for writing my letters of recommendation for graduate school. To all the brilliant people I've met at Seinan Gakuin, Hokkaido and Nanzan Universities. You all inspire me with your kindness and patience.
I will be moving onto graduate school at Nanzan University to study linguistics in September!
— Keolakawai Keliʻikuewa Genko Shimabukuro Spencer
These past four years at UH Hilo has brought me closer to my community and has helped me find my purpose as a growing individual. I've found my ideal career, made many new friends and connections, gained knowledge and wisdom from my mentors, experienced education in a different country, and finally, ending my undergrad amidst a global pandemic. I am so fortunate to be graduating with individuals who are just as resilient as I am and I am excited to see how we will use our talents and knowledge to improve the world we live in by empowering the people around us. This is only the beginning to a life full of opportunity and growth. Thank you, UH Hilo, for allowing this chapter of my life to happen.
— Christine Joy Halabas Galdones
In my future adventures beyond the classroom, I hope to continue to grow my passions, to seek out knowledge, and gain new connections.
— Estreya Lonni Enquist