On April 26, 2023, we attended the annual Citizen-Scholar Awards congratulating 42 exceptional public high school seniors at the Prince in Waikiki. This year marks the 19th year of Hawaiʻi Lodging & Tourism Association hosting this scholarship and recognition program along with Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Hawaii Department of Education. Awards of $1,000 were given to each of these 42 students with additional $2,500 awards given to one student of each county, and $5,000 awarded to one overall outstanding male and one overall outstanding female.
This year, the tag-team Masters of Ceremonies, Kelly Simek and John Veneri of KHON2, hosted a well versed and entertaining program acknowledging the stunning achievements of each and every senior presented. Included in this program was the eloquant Citizen-Scholar Address given by our Maui County’s Lanaʻi High School senior, Keala Montgomery.
Every year, MHLA sponsors a senior from Maui County and this year, our sponsored recognized senior was Morena Danti of King Kekaulike High School. Morena is the oldest of two daughters, a National Honor Society recipient, varsity team swimmer, member of the surf team and competitive water-polo player. Taught piano by her grandmother at age five, Morena continued music to become her school’s Vice President of King Kekaulike’s band, the percussion lead as well as piano teacher herself. With English as her second language, Spanish as her first and French as her third, Morena plans to teach in South America after college before returning home to Haiku. She will be attending University of Hawai’i at Manoa come fall, pursing Music Education and Secondary Education.
We are honored to support such a wonderful cause and are proud to see many of our members sponsoring these students as well.
Congrats to our Maui County recognized students of the Citizen-Scholar Awards Class of 2023:
Kailani Ibanez, Baldwin High sponsored by Wailea Beach Resort*
Pristine M. Perry, Hana High sponsored by Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa*
Morena Danti, King Kekaulike High sponsored by Maui Hotel & Lodging Association*
Gracia Acosta, Lahainaluna High, sponsored by Marriott Vacation Club*
Keala Montgomery, Lana’i High, sponsored by Pulama Lana’i
Alex T. Nguyen, Maui High, sponsored by Island Movers
Sage-Marie Yamashita, Moloka’i High, sponsored by Waikiki Resort Hotels
Photo Credits: MHLA.