LIHUE — When Kauai High graduate Tamara Akau left her home on Kauai, she knew she would miss her beloved island but as she landed in Washington State, the Eastern Washington University student looked forward to fulfilling her dreams.
Now, Akau is encouraging others to follow their dreams by speaking to them about college.
“College is such a big issue nowadays with having the knowledge to get a job and that degree,” Akau said. “It’s important for kids to know from a young age what schools are out there and that they can go to college no matter what situation they’re in.”
During her stay on the island, Akau will visit Kauai High School March 23 and March 25 to speak with juniors and seniors about the benefits of attending colleges and share her experiences at EWU.
“We want to connect with them in an emotional way to help them transition,” Akau said. “I was a little scared and more to myself. I didn’t have any friends. Then I met with the Hawaii Club. That’s what helped me the most, they became my second family instantly and they made me feel at home.”
Akau hopes to speak with students at Waimea and Kapaa High School as well, but the freshman stated if she doesn’t get the chance, she hopes to return in the summer to do so.
“I wanted to give back to my community back home and help college students and help those high school students who don’t know much about college,” Akau said. “I just want to give them a heads up.”
Akau works part time in the Office of Admissions at the college and is looking forward to becoming the president of the Hawaii Club next year. She also volunteers at Betz Elementary School in Cheney to make a difference in children’s lives.
Akau hopes to graduate from EWU in 2019 with a major in communication disorders and a minor in psychology.