Cramming for college

NAWILIWILI — Tyler Carvalho, a senior at Kapaa High School, was deep in concentration as he filled out his college application Monday at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club.

The task at hand was of the utmost importance.

“He wants to complete everything so he can leave it with the college representative before they leave,” said Joan Kealalio of the KHS counselors office.

Carvalho was among the roughly 700 to 800 students and parents who visited the 40th College and Career Fair at the Kalapaki Beach resort.

“We have 90 vendors,” said Bricen Moritsugu, fair coordinator. “This is a little more than last year.”

The goal is to give students an opportunity to explore what doors are open.

“I haven’t made up my mind yet,” said Kayla Jemenez, who plans to major in nursing. “It’s down to four schools in Oregon. I got to learn about them last year when I came to the fair, and I have applications in at all of them.”

Kealalio said Jimenez’s selection should not be based on who responds first, but serious consideration should be given to the school’s financial aid offerings. Those types of lessons were available as the students mingled and thought of their futures. The Kauai stop is part of the statewide tour that started Friday on Oahu.

Aaron Michael-Vidinha said when he spoke with the representative from Utah Valley, he became hooked on the school’s programs.

“I talked with her when I came here as a junior,” Michael-Vidinha said. “I’m going to major in culinary arts, and today, after visiting the table, nothing’s changed. I’ve got my application filled.”

Younger students like Luke Schmidt, a freshman with the Kauai Technical Academy, an online school program, was busy exploring options for post-high school education, accompanied by his parents.

“He’s just looking to see what is out there,” said his mother Maxima. “It’s never too early to look forward.”

Retired Col. Robert Levoit, representing West Point Academy, stopped Paea Tafua, a Kapaa senior who was browsing through the Kauai Marriott ballroom.

“Do you know what you’re going to be doing?” Levoit said. “You’re definitely college material, and schools will be looking at you.”

Levoit said there are four Kauai students — Kyle Fleming, Christina Pico, Chrystelle Guino, and Shiloh Begley — who are enrolled in the military academy, a far cry from the zero when he returned home a few years ago.

Colleen Kaiminauao of Kauai Community College spent some of her free time visiting the tables of colleges.

“I’m trying to encourage more colleges to offer distance learning programs,” Kaiminauao said. “By having more distance learning programs, our students are given more opportunities here at home.”

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