Spring 2009 - Issue 5

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Na Liko Na`auao highlights studentsí learning experiences

Lindsey Tolentino, Staff writer

Five months following their presentation at an expenses-paid-by-Chaminade conference, students presented their experiences at the ninth annual Na Liko Na`auao student scholarship day.

Featuring about 20 students who showcased their best work – from artwork to studies to reports of what students did on Chaminade-sponsored conference trips – Friday, April 8 was designated as a day for learning. Showing their work in Ching Conference Center, the day began in the Mystical Rose Oratory with prayer and the official presentation of the President Sue Wesselkamper prize, presented by Henry and Charlotte Clark, to Diep Vuong.

 “Liko means leaf bud … figuratively it refers to a child, to youth,” Henry Gomes states in the program. “Na`auao means learned, intelligent … The`o hi`a lehua is the official logo of the Na Liko Na`auao … (because it) represents the view that all students, of all backgrounds, of all races, male and female, are entitled to bud with new knowledge.”

Many students celebrated their knowledge, including Tanya Alvino and Chelsea Taketa.

Last November, Alvino and Taketa presented at the Faculty Resource Center Symposium in Washington, D.C. They have learned through actively participating in their service-learning projects that “Engaging the Community and the World through Service” is a great “way to give back to the community and to grow as an individual.”

The students were accompanied by the two professors who guided them through their service-learning projects as well as Candice Sakuda, the director of service-learning. According to Taketa, they “gave the students’ perspective (to faculty at the symposium) of how service-learning benefits (their) education.”

“It was really just us talking with the group and answering their questions on how we did our projects, and helping them come up with project ideas,” Alvino said.

Alvino and Taketa participated in two projects in the spring of 2010.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, VITA, program, allowed them, along with their classmates and Professor Wayne Tanna, to assist “low-income individuals and families in homeless transition shelters across Oahu with the help of Volunteer Legal Services Hawai`i.”

The other project, nicknamed FAFSA, gives students an opportunity to help Kaimuki High School students and their families fill out a FAFSA form, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which can help them pay for college.

“Our experiences in the VITA and FAFSA projects has encouraged us to maintain our commitment to service throughout our careers, and we recommend all students to participate in service-learning as a way to give back to the community and grow as an individual,” said Alvino and Taketa on their poster presentation.

While other scholars presented their hard work, the recipient of the President Sue Wesselkamper prize, Diep Vuong, presented  “The Effects of Ozone on Global Methylation Patterns in Type 2-Like Alveolar Lung Cells.”

“I know that wherever I am, I will always keep Chaminade in my heart,” said Vuong in gratitude for the award toward the end of her presentation on what work she has accomplished, including biology research and community service.

While many shared their work on April 8, there is room for more students to participate.

“It’s a really good opportunity,” Alvino said about the Na Liko Na`auao day of student scholarship.

In upcoming years, students, who have been on a Chaminade-paid conference or have not yet had the opportunity, can take advantage of this annual student scholarship day.