Jaysie Shimabukuro

Hawaiian Studies
Graduating Student

Why Choose College; A Student’s Perspective

Hawaiian Studies Graduating Student

I have a passion for living life. When I graduated from high school, I was full of dreams; to teach English, to travel the world, to learn languages. Things didn’t exactly go as planned-I fell into a slump and spent the next few years trying to figure everything out. I tried college in Oahu, then later dropped out. Then I went back to work, not knowing what to do next. I knew I wanted to finish school so I decided to enroll in KCC. I took three classes in the Hawaiian Studies program and fell in love with them!

Being in Hawaiian Studies made such an impact on me because of the understanding environment with the students and teachers. When I say I love them, I really mean it! We restarted the Hawaiian Club and I became its president, which kept me busy and helped me focus on all of the good things in my life.

It was easy for me to decide to become a Hawaiian Studies major. It brought passion back into my life, and it wasn’t until taking those classes that I got back to who I used to be and got better. Now I spend much of my time teaching others, especially kids. I love mentoring and coaching them, and have been a leader for the County of Kauai youth program for the past four years, where we watched over 100 kids!

My high school dreams are finally coming true. I’m going to the mainland for the first time this summer and I can’t wait. Next year I even plan to study abroad in Asia. I still want to teach English and travel, and now I want to teach ‘Olelo Hawaii as well. I never really got exposed to Hawaiian culture growing up, even though I am Hawaiian. I want to teach the culture that has helped me and saved me and broadened my horizons.

I’ve had an amazing journey and there are so many opportunities for me this year. I definitely have an unconventional story, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.