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Name: Kayla Lokelani Ishida
University: United States Coast Guard Academy
Field of Study/Major: Marine Environmental Science
What motto best describes your outlook on life?
Do what you love, best describes my outlook on life. I try my best to do what I love because that way I will be fully invested, put forth my best effort, and enjoy what I am doing with my life. The past year has really tested this motto. I have had to do a lot of self-reflection into understanding what I want and how I can make the most out of my life. I’ve come to the realization that being here at the United States Coast Guard Academy is providing challenging academics, leadership, and service, all of which I have been seeking. The people here have made my days brighter and have provided me with the support to push through obstacles which is helping me stay true to my life motto.
What has being awarded the Grove Farm Scholarship meant to you?
Receiving the Grove Farm Scholarship has showed me the importance of giving back. Grove Farm is a Kauai company, it has grown and developed right here, the place I have grown up in. To see a local company become so successful and provide so much for the community has reminded me of the importance of giving back. This scholarship has helped relieved the stress of worrying about financial burdens and will allow me to provide assistance to youth in the community in the future by expanding their opportunities.
What have you learned about yourself while you’ve been away?
There has been so much I have learned about myself while being away. Here at the USCGA I have had many opportunities to reflect on my leadership. My experiences leading have provided me with the opportunity to understand how my interactions with others impact their actions and how to motivate others. Being away from Kauai has also exposed me to many different people and experiences, opening my eyes. I’ve become more aware on weaknesses but have also been able to face them head on and improve upon myself. One aspect I am very proud to say is that being here at the USCGA has provided me with confidence I seemed to lack on Kauai.
What drives you?
The combination of my intrinsic motivation and competitiveness is what drives me. I try to find pleasure and keep a positive outlook on everything I do and that in itself allows me to keep motivated and passionate about what I do. Additionally I am very competitive which pushes me to continuously seek improvements whether it is academics or athletics.
What gives you hope for the future?
The innovation and creativity of those around me my age and around the world gives me hope for the future. Seeing people my age develop new technologies and implement changes in their communities has given me hope that the future is bright and full of potential.