St. Theresa’s Athena Abadilla wins KCCSW essay contest

LIHU‘E — Athena Abadilla, an eighth-grader at St. Theresa School, was recently selected as the winner of an essay contest sponsored by the Kaua‘i County Committee on the Status of Women.

The theme of the contest was “Educate Women and Change the World” and was open to girls in grades six to 12.

Abadilla was awarded a trip to O‘ahu to attend the eighth annual International Women’s Leadership Conference where she had the opportunity to hear inspiring stories shared by women leaders, a county news release states.

“The most important lesson I learned from the conference was to never give up, no matter how hard things may become, and to always do your best,” she said.

Among the list of conference speakers were: Elim Chew, president of 77th Street, a leading fashion and accessories retail chain in Singapore; Michelle Kristula-Green, global head of people and culture for Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide, a multi-national advertising agency; and Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of More magazine.

Former Hawai‘i Gov. Linda Lingle was also on the panel of speakers.

Abadilla says she intends to go to college like her sister Natasha, who is a sophomore at Stanford University.

“I think that education is important because it will offer you more opportunities in life,” said Abadilla, adding that after graduating from college she plans to return to the Garden Isle so she can help the people of Kaua‘i.

The members of the Kaua‘i County Committee on the Status of Women include: Uli‘i Castor, chair; Sevita Argaral, vice-chair; Linda Bothe, secretary; Jade Battad, treasurer; Kanani Alapa; Regina Carvalho; Cherie Mooy; and Anne Punohu.

Lisa Ellen Smith, an ex-officio member, represents KCCSW on the Hawai‘i state Commission on the Status of Women.

In 1970, the state Legislature passed enabling legislation to establish the Committee on the Status of Women in each county. Its mission is to serve as a voice for women throughout the state.

The work of the committee is based on effective public/private partnerships and networking among a variety of boards, coalitions and professional and community groups.

For more information about the Kaua‘i County Committee on the Status of Women visit www.kauai.gov or call 241-4920.

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