Seniors set high standards

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Zonta Club of Kauai awarded scholarships to five students, including Brooke Kauo, Brandie Aguinaldo, Mayumi Fulgencio, April Murakami, and Tabitha Ross during a special luncheon at the Hualani’s private dining room at the Timbers Kauai Resort.

NAWILIWILI — The Zonta Club of Kauai presented $5,000 in scholarships — $1,000 to each of five recipients — during its meeting at the Hualani’s private dining room at the Timbers Kauai Resort.

The scholarships were shared among five students, two from Kapaa High School, and one each from Kauai, Waimea, and Island School. Funds for the scholarships are derived in part from special Zonta events throughout the year. The scholarship awardees and their families were hosted by the Zontians to a special luncheon at Hualani’s.

Brooke Kauo, graduating from Kapaa High School, is planning on using her scholarship toward becoming a toxicologist.

“If I were given a million dollars, I would put 50 percent into savings, give 25 percent to my mom, and set 25 percent aside for college, and maybe buy a car,” Kauo said in response to a common question asked of the scholarship candidates.

“When asked what kind of car, she spontaneously said a Porsche,” said MaBel Fujiuchi of the Zonta Club. “Then, after a pause, a Toyota truck.”

Brandie Aguinaldo, getting a head start on graduating from Waimea High School by participating in the Kauai Community College 54th commencement exercises, is described by her references as “almost super-human.”

Early in her high school career, Aguinaldo had already decided she wanted to graduate as a valedictorian.

“This Waimea High School student will graduate as No. 1 in her class with a 4.0 grade point average,” Fujiuchi said. “Citing her admiration for her mom as a registered nurse and working hard to support her and her sister, Brandie aspires to become a nurse practitioner, wanting to make a difference in her community, and the facility where she will work.”

Mayumi Fulgencio holds a 4.013 GPA and is ranked No. 1 in her class of 300 students at Kauai High School, Fujiuchi said.

Fulgencio, aspiring to work for the Environmental Protection Agency focusing on pollution prevention and public affairs, was presented the Marge Akana $1,000 scholarship.

Another No. 1 student, April Murakami, holds a 4.081 GPA and is ranked top of her class at Kapaa High School.

Murakami aspires to be a statistician and will work for a degree in data science at the Pacific University.

Tabitha Ross, aspiring to become a pediatrician after being influenced by her father “who loves his job, and aspired to be just like him,” is graduating from Island School.

“Tabitha, with your principles, achievements, and goals, the Zonta Club of Kauai would like to award you a $1,000 scholarship,” Fujiuchi said. “We see our principles living through those such as you.”


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or


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