Kimberly Manago’s Essay

What is a goal without high aspirations? What is a dream without hope? What am I without an education? It is something that has not lived up to its full potential, something that could be greater. Though many things in my life have been uncertain, one thing that I have always been sure about
is going to college.
My parents own a small family-run hotel and restaurant that has been in our family for three generations. It was started by my great grandparents who came to Hawaii from Japan in search
of a better life. Because of this I didn’t grow up watching people waiting around for something spectacular to happen, instead I grew up watching hard working people make a future for themselves. My parents have raised me on values that they were brought up with which is why I have always had high hopes and dreams for myself. But these dreams didn’t just pop out of thin air,
I have already researched various career options and after narrowing my choices down, I have decided that I would like to become an engineer. I plan on attending a 4-year accredited college/university where I will major in Civil Engineering. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree
in Civil Engineering, I intend to further my education by mastering in Structural Engineering.
After completing college, I hope to become employed in California. I choose to go to California because of the experience. I know that there are things in California that I will not be able to do in Hawaii. But, once I have enough experience and recommendations, I plan on moving back to Hawaii where I will open an engineering firm.
Coming back to Kona is extremely important to me. This is where my roots are, this is where I
was raised, and this is where I learned the true value of hard work. Though some may see it as a disadvantage to live here because of the lack of opportunities, I see it as a blessing. Living here has made me work twice as hard to achieve my goals. With the overwhelming drug problems both in and out of school, I have learned to be very strong and resistant to unhealthy life choices. Instead of falling into the scene of drinking every weekend or smoking everyday, I choose to focus on academics and community service. I make sure that I study hard rather than going out all the time.
I am extremely involved in many school activities such as Konawaena Student Government, Leo Club, National Honors Society, Math League, and Japanese Club. I am also very involved with activities outside of school such as 4-H and volunteering. All of these activities have kept me on a safe and healthy path; one that I am sure will only lead me to success and the accomplishments of my goals. Because I am able to resist temptations now, I am sure that I have prepared myself as best as I can to take on the challenge of college and the rest of my life. I have taught myself to put my education before entertainment and to work hard before playing.
Kona has made me who I am today. The environment here is so different from anywhere else in the world, including the outer islands. I could think of no better place to grow up and no better place to come back to.
Why should I set such high goals, dream so big, and want a great education? It is because I want to become successful enough to return home and give back to the community which has given so much to me.  It is because living in Kona has taught me to strive for the best and work hard to get there.