Shavae'cha Lee: 'Goodbye Harvard'
by Becky Nelson, staff writer
Shavae’cha Lee is in her third year at
HPU, majoring in English and minoring in journalism. Lee,
originally from Philadelphia, came to HPU because she was too
to wait for an answer from Harvard. She was eventually accepted
to the Ivy League school, but turned it down for HPU.
In preparation for law school, Lee keeps herself
busy as a member of the Creative Writing Club, the Press Club
and the Biology Club. She also works for Kalamalama and as
a tutor for the English Department at HPU.
In her spare time, she likes to do a little bit of everything. “Most
of all, I like to perform,” says Lee, who dressed up as
the clown from the movie It at the Halloween Haunted House in
the Blaisdell Arena last October.
She also enjoys acting in plays, doing stand-up comedy, and
singing, but she has a more serious side too. Lee participated
recent student symposium on global citizenship where she presented
student’s ideas on what they thought a global citizen was.
Lee expects to graduate spring of 2005, when she hopes to finally
attend Harvard Law School. “I was accepted once and I hope
they accept me again,” Lee said about Harvard. She hopes
eventually to work in entertainment or environmental law.
Lee describes her experience at HPU has being wonderful. “I
love the diversity,” she says. “There are a million
and one nice people here.”
Bernard Akili: Local culture, Indo style
by Amber Vega, staff writer
“Indo style,” is Bernard Akili’s
personal motto. The Indonesian native, who is currently a sophomore
majoring in finance at HPU, combines in that phrase both his
culture and his attitude towards his own local lifestyle here
Hailing from the modern city of Jakarta, Indonesia’s
capitol, Bernard has been in the U.S. school system for about
seven years. Attending Hawaiian Mission Academy (graduating in
2001) Bernard became accustomed to the “Hawaiian style” of
living. “Most of my friends are local,” says Bernard
with a slight pidgin accent. “It was their influence that
made me start to love Hawai‘i and be able to relate better
with my surroundings.”
Following his three older brothers, who also came to Hawai‘i
to attend high school and Hawai‘i Pacific University, Bernard
will be the last of the Akili family to complete his education
in the islands. “My parents wanted us to be better educated,
so they sent all of us to America,” said Bernard.
Throughout his adolescent years Bernard adapted to his surroundings
easily making himself more involved and comfortable in his
new home. “I’d never been on a surfboard before. I was
too scared of sharks. But once I got out there and caught my
first wave, I was hooked,” said Bernard. Soon fishing and
surfing became Bernard’s favorite past times, with board
shorts and “slippas” becoming his only wardrobe.
All three of his brothers have since returned home to Indonesia
and Bernard currently resides by himself in his Nauru Tower
apartment. Keeping himself busy with school, the gym, and all
that Hawai‘i has to offer, Bernard has no reason for complaints.
When asked if he would return home after graduation, Bernard
smiles and says, “yeah maybe to visit, but this is my
Michelle Dela Cruz: Firm on school, open on career
by Yvonne Lozano, staff writer
Michelle Dela Cruz, 19, and a sophomore at HPU
seeking a B.A. in Visual Communication, doesn’t see herself
leaving Hawai‘i anytime soon. Born and raised in Ewa
Beach, she has no desire to live on the mainland or anywhere
else, nor does she want to go to school off island. Instead,
she decided to attend what she calls “the No. 1 school
in the state of Hawai‘i.”
Dela Cruz is still undecided about her future career.
She thinks she may want to work in the production part of the
media, but she cannot pinpoint exactly what she wants to do.
She has considered the possibility of producing commercials or
You know the long credits after a movie?” she asked. “I
want my name somewhere in there.”
Dela Cruz has been involved with the media since writing
her first article for her school newspaper in the fifth grade. “My
mother would give me $10 for every article I wrote,” she
said. She also was the editor-in-chief for, the McKinley High
School student newspaper, The Pinion. She earned a $3,000 scholarship
from the Hawai‘i Association of Broadcasters and a partial
scholarship from HPU’s Spirit Club, which is only open
to qualifying students who have graduated from a Hawai‘i
As a Spirit Club member she travels to various games to support
HPU sports teams and participated in the Halloween Hoop-la.
I love it here,” Dela Cruz said. She expressed her feelings
for the state she grew up in, and she explained why she would
never think of leaving: “This is paradise. Why would
I ever want to leave?”
Kristi Lewis: School a balancing act
by Radasha Ho'ohuli, staff writer
Her long, lanky, five-foot-nine-inch, 125-pound-body
would never suggest that Kristi Lewis had a child less than
nine months ago.
Lewis, 21, a junior at HPU majoring in public
relations and communication is a student by day, an employee
by night, and a mother 24/7. She is from Makakilo on O‘ahu,
and her only hobby, she says, is window shopping. “The
only thing going on with me is school, work, Wynden (her son),
and Watson (her husband),” Lewis said. When asked if
she likes her life, she replied, “Yes, most definitely!”
So, how does she balance school, work, and family? She has
to be organized. She goes to school during the day on Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays. Occasionally, she goes to work from
school and doesn’t reach home until after 9 p.m.. On
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Lewis works from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as
a sales representative at the Cinnamon Girl boutique in Pearlridge
Shopping Center. Still, her primary goal is to maintain a good
relationship with her husband and her son.
Lewis and Watson were high school sweethearts who graduated
in 2000 from the Kamehameha Schools. They married last November.
Lewis has no regrets about her life and said that she loves
her family and is glad that she and her husband (who attends
the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa) can work their schedules
out to make time as a family.
So, if anyone thought that it couldn’t be done, Lewis
has proven that it can. Many students have busy schedules involving
combinations of school, work, family, sports, and extracurricular
events. The key to success, as Lewis demonstrates, is being