LIHU‘E — The Contractors Association of Kaua‘i presented $12,000 in scholarship awards during a special in-person membership meeting held at the Plantation House at Kilohana with high regard for COVID-19 health and safety protocol last Thursday evening.
Two of the nine scholarship recipients sharing in the $12,000 distribution — Bransyn Estrada and Raymart Dela Cruz — were directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Estrada, one of three recipients of the Kenneth Shioi Memorial Scholarship, made an unplanned career change after losing his 20-year career in the hospitality and tourism industry because of the pandemic. After deciding to learn a new trade, Estrada embarked on this new road by enrolling at the Kaua‘i Community College in the electrical and facilities maintenance program. With a goal of becoming a journeyman electrician, Estrada is on track to graduate in the spring of 2022.
Estrada, along with Dela Cruz, each earned a $1,500 scholarship to help them along their respective ways.
Dela Cruz, who is also enrolled in the Kaua‘i Community College electrical and facilities maintenance program, saw the doors shut as he arrived on Kaua‘i with his background of computers and interest in all things electrical, just as the pandemic was shutting down the island, last year.
With the support of his wife, and encouraged by his current 3.5 grade point average, Dela Cruz is on track to graduate in the spring of 2022 and looks forward to being part of the electrical apprenticeship program with the goal of becoming a journeyman electrician on Kaua‘i.
Keanu Dotario, the son of Lydia Ornellas and Stanley Dotario of Kalaheo, and a 2021 graduate of Waimea High School, is the third recipient of the Shioi scholarship, receiving a $2,000 award.
Dotario will be a freshman at the Kaua‘i Community College, where he plans to major in either electrical and facility maintenance, or carpentry.
Chace Baliaris, a 2020 graduate of Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama, is currently in the Kaua‘i Community College carpentry program, and earned a $1,000 CAK scholarship. He is the son of Yvette Racca and Shawne Baliaris of Lihu‘e.
Jordyn Kawehi Kahananui, a senior majoring in electrical engineering at the University of Portland, earned the $1,000 Richard, Yasuo, and Hisae Minatoya Memorial Scholarship that is awarded to a dependent of an employee, or staff member of a CAK member company.
Jordyn’s dad, Jordan Kahananui, is a project supervisor with Koga Engineering &Construction. Her mother is Madeline Kahananui of Puhi.
Destry Shibuya, the son of Kathy and Scott Shibuya of Lihu‘e, is a sophomore pre-engineering and mathematics major at the College of Wooster in Ohio. Destry earned a $1,500 Guy Matsunaga scholarship, the scholarship named after the licensed Lihu‘e-based general contractor and a charter CAK member.
Ron Janus Acob, the son of Clair and Edward Lagazo of Kaumakani, earned a $1,500 Hawai‘i Gas scholarship presented by Hawai‘i Gas, Kaua‘i manager Russell Winkelman. Acob is currently a junior majoring in architecture at Portland State University and has been on the school’s President’s or Dean’s lists for most of his college career.
Julia Safford, a 2020 Kaua‘i High School graduate and the daughter of Laura Goodrich of Lihu‘e, earned a $1,000 CAK scholarship to help her as a sophomore physics and pre-engineering major at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana.
Tyler Hawthorne, a 2021 graduate of Kapa‘a High School and the son of Denise and Aaron Hawthorned of Kapa‘a, was awarded a $1,000 CAK scholarship to help the three-sport athlete when he attends Oregon State University in the fall with a major of either mechanical or civil engineering.
A portion of the CAK scholarship program is funded from proceeds arriving out of its annual scholarship golf tournament. This year’s 28th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament will tee off, Aug. 14 at the Ocean Course at the Hokuala Golf Club.