Corrie Kamigaki’s Essay

I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the Kona community and experience the true meaning of the “Aloha Spirit,” which has exuded the power to instill in myself, gratitude, strength, and inspiration, in myself to make a difference in my community.  Being born and raised in Kona, I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by a multi-faceted culture with many distinct characteristics.  Kona has provided me the opportunity to witness and challenge myself to make a positive difference in the world, and to take action to improve the lives of others.  More so, with American’s recent economic recession, I have witnessed the Kona community’s ability to collaborate, by devoting their time, energy, and expertise, to work as one.  My hometown has worked hard in the struggle to maintain jobs, household stability, and family dignity in such difficult economic times. The beauty of Kona is not just about the breathtaking scenery and the one-of-a-kind weather, but about the people who give selflessly to accommodate all, and who share the richness of their fortunes, through support, teamwork and wisdom.

I believe the goal of Kona’s community is to maintain our values, and keep our people healthy and prosperous.  Kona is not a town that strikes a visitor as urban because it is fairly less developed compared to other places.  However, the minds and charisma of Kona’s community, is stronger, and significantly more than meets the eye.  This amazing town, in which I live, has the power to involve many people in the community to help with its goals and dreams of providing a brighter future.  The people of Kona recognize that the main objective is to keep all cultures alive, treasure the island’s wonders, and to honor the value of freedom and diversity.

Attributes of community service may vary, but the root of good deeds and outcomes of such selfless acts id derived from devoting one’s time and energy into benefiting the community in an effort to help others and give from the heart.  The Kona community has influenced me in achieving my own personal goals because it has given me the inspiration, perseverance, and strength to overcome major obstacles.  The Kona community has also guided me in the direction to make positive changes though voluntary community service projects.  I’ve been active in community service activities since my early years at Konawaena Elementary School and have continued my service though out my high school career at Konawaena High School.  Organizations such as the Kona 4-H Program, National Honor Society, and Leo club, have transformed me into a better youth, as well as provided me with the guidance to contribute to my community.  By being involved in events such as Relay for Life, K.A.M.P. (Kindergarteners Are most Precious), and Art of the Season, I’ve learned that giving through compassion, generosity, and kindness, although time-consuming is a gift to help others in need.  Whether the activity is focused on helping the keiki of Hawaii, or serves to improve our environmental conditions, community service is the result of a group of people working together as one.  Every effort of improvement no matter how small causes a positive change in oneself, others, and in the world.  Every effort makes a difference.

My experiences in Kona have inspired me to venture into the world, to find a new educational environment, and offer my skills in community service.  Since I’ve made the decision to further my education in California, what was once a dream is fast becoming a reality.  I’ve selected the path that leads me to the University of San Diego.  I would like to study the Speech-Language Pathology and Audilogy.  My goal is to acquire a Bachelors of Science degree and continue my education to receive a doctorate degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.  Furthering my education is extremely important because it is the best way to acquire the knowledge and experience, which wil guide me to attain my career goals.

After completing my college education, I hope to return to Hawaii and begin my professional career.  In Hawaii, where there is a shortage of specialists in this field, I envision myself having my own practice and helping Hawaii’s residents of all ages.  I would also create an awareness program to educate Hawaii’s residents on preventive measures to protect their hearing.  I am grateful that the Kona community has provided me with opportunities for growth and learning and has inspired me to share the “Aloha Spirit” and make a difference in the world.