Shinseki scholarship honors seniors

PUHI — David Ochoco, Chas Okamoto and Kendra Ishida were honored as recipients of the General Eric K. and Patricia Shinseki Scholarship Fund, Tuesday at 22 North in the Kilohana Plantation.

Lynn McCrory, a Public Schools of Hawai‘i Foundation trustee, made the presentation along with William Arakaki, the Kaua‘i Area Complex Superintendent at a luncheon where the scholarship recipients, their families and the school principals were honored. Each of the scholarship recipient received a $2,000 scholarship.

Ochoco, a valedictorian at the Kaua‘i High School commencement exercise, plans to major in aeronautical science with the hope of becoming a professional pilot, an aspiration he had from when he was in elementary school.

Okamoto, graduating from Kapa‘a High School, is a University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Regents Scholar who plans to major in civil and environmental engineering.

Ishida, graduating from Waimea High School, will be attending the University of Oregon, studying Chinese with an emphasis on international business.

“It’s great to have a boy who graduated from Kaua‘i at one time, lead the U.S. Army,” said Arakaki. “Remember that what you do in high school is in preparation for college and your careers. I know you’re are going to be great in your endeavors, but remember your island roots, loved ones who support you, and contribute back.”

The Shinseki fund is held by the Public Schools of Hawai‘i Foundation and was established in 2003 in the name of the Shinseki family.

Both the General and his wife are from Kaua‘i, the General graduating from Kaua‘i High School and his wife Patricia from Waimea High School. She later taught biology at Kaua‘i High.

General Shinseki, the current U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the Obama Administration, has had a distinguished career in public service, graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1965.

He is a Vietnam combat veteran and a retired four-star general. Prior to retirement, Shinseki served as the 34th U.S. Army Chief of Staff.

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

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