WAIMEA — Braelyn Cayaban and Cailin Pasion were announced recipients of the Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital Auxiliary scholarships that were awarded without fanfare because of the prevailing COVID-19 restrictions for health and safety.
Cayaban and Pasion are both graduates of Waimea High School, and earned scholarships of $1,000 apiece from the volunteer group.
“The school year of 2020 to 2021 has been one of the most-challenging and ever-changing school years in modern history,” said Brycen Hiraoka of the KVMH Auxiliary in an announcement of the scholarship recipients.
“While COVID-19 has evolved over the past 21 months, graduating high-school seniors had yet to find a way to adapt to an almost-done school year. The same has happened in health care. Adapting to the various changes and steering through unchartered waters has made this another interesting year.”
Cayaban, the daughter of Fred Cayaban and Georgette Galiciano-Cayaban of ‘Ele‘ele, will be attending Colorado College in Colorado Springs, and will be majoring in molecular biology with a concentration in pre-medicine. Graduating from Waimea High School, she plans on becoming a pediatrician, with hopes of returning back to Hawai‘i to practice in the community where she grew up.
“Her hopes and aspirations are to care for the keiki’s mental and physical well-being by promoting a healthy lifestyle,” Hiraoka said. “She hopes to change the aura of her clinic, beginning with her reception staff, to always make families feel invited and calm in a chaotic environment. Her focus of a true multidisciplinary team approach for the future of a child is something that she hopes will create a growing environment for them.”
Thinking outside the box, Cayaban says that pancit would be the local dish of her choice that would best represent her personality and character.
“Pancit is a popular Filipino dish found at numerous feasts and celebrations,” she said in an interview with the KVMH Auxiliary Scholarship Committee.
“I would want to be this dish because I am a vibrant person who loves to socialize with people. The vegetables in the pancit dish represent the ethnicities in Hawai‘i. I met many people with different ethnicities like Hawaiians, Chinese and Portuguese who have made a huge impact in my life. Pork adds flavor in the dish, like how people work together to bring life and flavor to our community. Once mixed with the long noodles, it symbolizes the unity we have when we celebrate our cultures together.”
Pasion is the daughter of Brandon and Felilani-Ann Pasion of Kekaha, and will attend Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., majoring in biology with a concentration leading to pre-pharmacy. She plans on becoming a pharmacist.
“Pharmacy has been a dream of mine for years,” the recent alumna Menehune said. “I’ve always been set on this type of occupation because I’ll be able to embrace the two subjects, math and science, that I do best in, and get to improve patient care on a daily basis.”
Her hopes are to ultimately return home to work at a pharmacy so that she becomes highly involved in clinical management in her community.
“I need to prepare myself for the difficult situations that I may stumble upon and who I’ll rely on to get through them,” she said. “If one person stumbles across a problem, then it’ll become that co-workers’ problem as well. Personally, it’s the better choice to reach out to my future coworkers for help because the problem will be solved quicker and more efficiently.”
Loco moco is the dish that represents her personality and character.
“Like how a loco moco is composed of four layers, it is important to develop certain skills that are stacked upon each other,” she said. “Without one needed skill, a person wouldn’t be as successful or prepared for events in their future. The skills that are important for me to develop include organization, time management, assertiveness and well-developed self-care.”
Funds for the scholarships are derived from sales at the KVMH Gift Shop and a number of special events, including the Mother’s Day sale, the fall bon dance and others that can be allowed once the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.