Recent Molokai High School graduate Michael Kikukawa was one of 21 student athletes across Hawaii honored June 15 at the 2013 HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program luncheon.
School principals, athletic directors, students, and family members came from across the state to the Hawaii Convention Center to honor Hawaii’s top high schools and the finest scholar athletes at the luncheon.
“Being a teenager and getting through that tremendously challenging period of your life is an accomplishment on its own,” said Elisa Yadao, HMSA’s senior vice president of consumer experience. “These students excelled, earning outstanding grades, practicing exceptional sportsmanship, and giving countless hours of their time to help others. We’re so committed to the Kaimana Program because it highlights the aloha these students share with their classmates, their teammates, and their communities.”
The program, which started in August 2005, recognizes all-around accomplishments by high schools, rewards individual student athletes with scholarships, and supports coaches education. It’s sponsored by HMSA and administered by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.
At today’s awards ceremony, 21 students received scholarships worth $3,000. Five of those students, including Kikukawa, were named distinguished scholars and received an additional $2,000 each.
Besides being named a distinguished scholar, Kikukawa also earned the Maui Interscholastic League Scholarship. He will be able to use the $5,000 of scholarship money toward his education at Harvard University where he begins in the fall.
The keynote address was presented by Olympic medalist Clarissa Chun, the only woman wrestler from Hawaii to win a medal at the Olympics and the first women’s freestyle wrestler to be nominated to her second Olympic Team. KGMB Sunrise News Anchor Steve Uyehara emceed the awards luncheon. Guest presenters included KITV Sports Anchor and UH Rainbow Warrior Football play-by-play Announcer Robert Kekaula; Josh Pacheco of ESPN Radio; Dave Reardon of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; Dana Takahara-Dias, Department of Education Title IX in Athletics Specialist; and Dave Vinton, director of Sports Programming for OC-16.