Kapa’a High School seniors received named scholarships — in partnership with the Kapa’a High School Foundation — at the May 2021 scholarship presentation. The scholarship winners were selected based on their personal statements, academic achievements, and their participation in community and school service activities throughout their high school years.

Three Kapa’a High School seniors received $1000 each as recipients of the Shinichi & Yasuko (Dobashi) Mukai Memorial Scholarship.

Taylor Chang has been a member of Student Government, serving as class vice-president, class president and most recently, Student Body President. She helped plan and launch school and district campaigns such as No Vape Kaua’i, “Stop if you Love Me” (driver safety) and Operation Christmas Child. She was inducted into National Honor Society and has taken dual college credit courses. She played on the JV Soccer team, works at Wailua Shave Ice and still finds time to volunteer at Kaua’i Humane Society, Kaua’i County Farm Bureau, Teacher Mentorship (Kapa’a Elementary School), Head Start and clean up projects for KIUC.

Sophia Gregory was a National Merit Commended Student and has taken early college coursework from Kaua’i Community College. She was inducted into National Honor Society, where she has volunteered for the Mahelona Breast Cancer walk and tutored Kapa’a Elementary School students at A-Plus. She has been on the varsity paddling team which took first place at KIF championships and 2nd place at State in 2019. She has studied piano for many years and has interned at Retro Farms. She has also participated in many community service projects as vice-president and president of the Interact Club, volunteered with the Kaua’i County Food Distribution and at the Pink Pineapple Project.

Alina Puig has taken early college coursework from Kaua’i Community College and placed 3rd in the HOSA Biomedical Laboratory Science Competition. She has been the President and Drum Captain of the Kapa’a High School Marching Band, through which she volunteered at the Mahelona Breast Cancer walk. She also served as cymbals section leader for the Kaua’i All-Island band, was a member of the Wind Symphony at KCC and was a percussionist for the Hawai’i Children’s Theater. She has taken dance for many years and has assisted in teaching dance classes at Kaua’i Creative Arts. She also works as a sales associate at Flip Flop Shops in Lihu’e.

One Kapa’a High School senior received $1000 as a recipient of the Cal Kimura Memorial Scholarship.

Ashley Ricciardi was inducted into the National Honor Society in 2019. She is also active with the Interact Club, acting as head of the historian committee. She has been involved as a volunteer at the Distance Learning Day Camp, as an Earth Day volunteer and helped at the Salvation Army Thanksgiving Luncheon. She has worked for 4 years at Kaua’i Gymnastics Academy as a coach, and also at JoJo’s Shave Ice as a cashier and in customer service.


Two Kapa’a High School seniors received $1000 each as a recipients of the Coach Donald Shishido Memorial Scholarship.

Makaio Gonsalves has been a part of the Kapa’a High student government, serving as Student Body Treasurer and has also been an active member of the Interact Club. A talented scholar-athlete, he has been a 3-year member of the Kapa’a High Soccer and Volleyball teams and a 2-year member of the Football team. He has served his community through the Boy Scouts of America, earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He is also active in his church youth group, serving as a member of the priests quorum. He works as a landscaper for the Homestead Community Development Corp. and has worked as a snuba tour guide and as an intern for Kilauea Farms.

Dana Murata has taken early college coursework at Kaua’i Community College and is in the top 4% of her class. She has been the treasurer of Kapa’a High Japanese club and a member of the Kapa’a High School Key Club, through which she performed many services to the community. She is anchor on the Kapa’a High School bowling team and is a 3-time Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation (KIF) Girls champion and the 2019 Hawai’i High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) girls state champion. She has worked as an agricultural intern and also as a glass handler at Kela’s Glass shop. She currently works as a cafe server at Matcha-Ya. She also drums with Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko and is an assistant lifeguard with Kapa’a Swim Class.

Two Kapa’a High School seniors received $500 each as recipients of the LTC Placido & Michelle Valenciano Jr. ROTC Scholarship.

Julianne Castro was a member of Student Council (Senior Vice President) and was inducted into the National Honor Society. She had many responsibilities within the Kapa’a Jr. ROTC — as Web Manager, Color Guard Commander, Drill Team Commander, Command Sergeant Major and Scholarships Officer — and won many Jr. ROTC Awards. Julianne held jobs as a luau dancer and a crew trainer at McDonalds. She was also a member of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and participated in many community service events.

Sophia Ibanez was a member of Student Council as ASB Recording Secretary, Class Treasurer and Kaua’i District Student Council Representative. She had many leadership positions: unarmed Exhibition Commander on the Kapa’a High Drill Team, a flag carrier as a member of the Color Guard, and a member of the Battalion Executive Staff (Training Operations Officer and Battalion Commander) on the Jr. ROTC. She is also fluent in Tagalog, Ilocano and English and has intermediate skills in Japanese.

Congratulations to our scholarship winners.  We commend your diligence and dedication to excellence and your commitment to community service.

The Foundation will like to extend a warm “Thank you” to all the generous supporters of the Kapa’a High School Foundation who make these scholarships possible.

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