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‘Ohana > More OhanaSummer 2011 IS Magazine6/29/11 IS Online

Kaimana Winners Shine

The distinguished winners of HMSA’s Kaimana Scholarships are truly inspirational.

By Andrea Wright-Agustin

Now in its sixth year, the HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program recognizes high schools and their student athletes for success on and off the field. HMSA partners with the Hawaii High School Athletic Association to offer scholarships to student athletes, awards to schools in each league and division, and coaches’ education and training.

Students are selected based on their accomplishments in athletics, academics, sportsmanship, and community service. This year, HMSA distributed $2,000 scholarships to 22 deserving students. Among those, three exceptional students stood apart as distinguished recipients and received an extra $1,000. Here are their stories.

Miracle Helekahi

Miracle Helekahi
Hāna High & Elementary School
Hāna, Maui

Meet Miracle, senior class president, National Honor Society member, multiple sports captain, and community volunteer. She mentors at a youth center, works with pre-schoolers, and volunteers at a thrift shop. During her sophomore year, she represented Hawai‘i at the National Federation of High Schools Leadership Conference. She received her high school athletic department’s Inspirational Award after leading her team to the state softball tournament.

But what makes Miracle’s achievements even more remarkable is that, for about 10 years, Miracle was homeless, living in a tent with 12 relatives. Despite her unstable situation, she consistently made the honor roll; became class president; shone in volleyball, basketball, soccer, paddling, and softball; and excelled in hula.

“Being homeless has taught me to work extra hard … and to be an independent, strong young woman and prepared for what the world has to offer me,” says Miracle.

In a few years, look for a successful bakery in Hāna called Miracle’s Happen. Miracle hopes to open it after she goes to college to study nutrition and/or complete a culinary program. And she will always celebrate her heritage through hula, no matter how she earns a living.

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