LIHUE — Bailey Bernabe said her mechanic stopped working to see if she was OK after she got a phone call from the Kauai Veterans Council.
“I was working on my truck,” she said. “When they told me who they were and why they were calling, I got super-excited. Even the mechanic stopped his work to see if I was alright.”
Bernabe was installed as the 2016-17 Miss Kauai Veterans last week during the meeting of the Kauai Veterans Council. Her parents, Matt and Noralyn Bernabe, placed the crown and sash of office on the Kapaa High School senior.
“I found out about Miss Kauai Veteran because I read the call for applicants as part of the school’s morning news,” Bailey Bernabe said. “After I read it, I kept thinking, ‘I should apply for the position because I can always use the scholarship.’”
Bernabe then spoke with veterans during a bon dance at the historic County Building.
“My dad is a veteran, but never registered with the Veterans Administration,” she said. “But veterans need to register. I found out that the funds that come into the local VA is dependent on how many veterans are registered. They got my dad to register, and I what I learned became the basis for my essay.”
As Miss Kauai Veteran, Bernabe will make her debut during the annual Veterans Day parade on Nov. 5, which starts at 10 a.m. on Rice Street and ends at the historic County Building.
Her duties involve assisting the Kauai Veterans Council at major veteran observances throughout her reign.
“This is very exciting,” Bernabe said. “I love giving back to the community.”
Bernabe is the student body president at Kapaa High School as well as a member of the National Honor Society. She is the current student branch manager of the Warrior Credit Union which opened in March, a partnership with the Kauai Community Federal Credit Union and a part of the financial literacy education program.
Her success and spirit with the school-based credit union earned her an intern position with the Kauai Community Federal Credit Union where she was instrumental in opening the Raider Credit Union at Kauai High School. Plans are also being worked on to have a credit union at Waimea High School.
Following graduation, Bernabe is contemplating majoring in business management with a minor in political science.