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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 impatient to wait for an answer from Harvard. She was eventually accepted to the Ivy League school, but turned it down for HPU.

Shavae'cha Lee


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 in the 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 in Hawai‘i.


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 the pleasures 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 home now.”


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 filmmaking.

“ 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 high school.

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 organized.



2004, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
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