Secretary of State tomorrow, student today

PUHI — Secretary of State is the career goal of a recent Waimea High School graduate.

That might sound like a lofty career for some, but not Candice Klein who was announced as the winner of the Young Woman in Public Affairs Award for District 9 of Zonta International.

Klein, who will be leaving for San Diego State University next week, topped a field of applicants from 10 districts spanning six states.

“It was her leadership and community service that put her over the top,” said Melinda Uohara, president-elect of the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i. “And now we get to present her with another award.”

Earlier in the year, the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i submitted her application for district consideration. Klein’s application joined other applications from young women who excelled in student activities, community service, international awareness and the awareness of the status of women in the United States and throughout the world, a press release states.

At that time, Klein was presented with a $1,000 award, and with the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, was presented with another $1,000 Award.

Klein, who was the guest of the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i, also received a phone call from Karen Foissotte, the Zonta International District Governor from Reno, Nev.

Klein’s leadership experience stood out as she was the class president in her freshman year at Waimea High School, and by her senior year, had attained the offices of student body vice president, student body president and the district representative for Kaua‘i on the Hawai‘i State Student Council.

Additionally, Klein has been the Spanish Club president and the parlimentarian of the school’s National Honor Society.

At the Hawai‘i State Student Council, Klein was involved in the planning of statewide leadership workshops and service projects. She also initiated a statewide voter registration program for high school students.

This effort, the “Empower to Vote” registration drive, led to her desire to major in international security conflict resolutions. In addition to her major, Klein says she plans to minor in Arabic studies.

Becoming the Secretary of State falls in line with her personal life goal of dedicating “the rest of my life to people in need, to the bettering of society.”

Currently the reigning Miss Veteran for the Kaua‘i Veterans Council, Klein also augments that reign by writing letters and sending care packages to the nation’s military personnel overseas.

She has also been a participant in the People to People Future Leaders Summit on International Diplomacy, and for two weeks, was living on campus at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Columbia University in New York City.

A member of the Pacific Asian Affairs Council, Klein is involved with debating issues pertinent to the Asian continent. Her experience representing China in a mock United Nations program helped her in this arena as well.

But her work is not limited to Asia as she worked on a research project dealing with problems facing Latin America and Spain as the president of the Spanish Club.

Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. More than 33,000 members belong to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 68 countries.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


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