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Paubox Kahikina Scholarship Recipient 2022: Kapaeloa Aki

Paubox Kahikina Scholarship Recipient 2022: Kapaeloa Aki

The Paubox Kahikina Scholarship helps Native Hawaiian students pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and Tech in general. Its purpose is to offer financial support and create a strong network for these students. The scholarship makes education more affordable and connects students with professionals, giving them valuable opportunities to learn and grow in their chosen STEM or Tech fields. This scholarship is about more than just money; it's about building a community and empowering Native Hawaiian students to succeed in STEM or Tech careers.

See alsoThe big ideas behind the Paubox Kahikina Scholarship


As a 2022 scholarship recipient, Kapaeloa Aki has been studying computer science at Brigham Young University. Here is an update from Kapaeloa Aki: 

“Aloha, my name is Kapaeloa Aki, and I am a recipient of the 2022 Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship. I am currently entering into my sophomore year at Brigham Young University — Hawai‘i and am majoring in computer science. One thing that I like about BYU-Hawaii is that it is acclaimed for having a diverse population, as suggested for its being an international center of learning in the Pacific. Due to the diverse student body, and the various cultures and perspectives that come with it, I believe that my worldview has grown and I have been introduced to different ways of thinking.

Another thing that I liked after my first year of college is that since BYU-H is a small university compared to others, so the class sizes are smaller. Therefore, I have more opportunities to participate in class, get to know my peers, and receive more academic advising from the faculty. I feel more engaged in my classes than I would have as an anonymous person in a lecture hall. I like to believe that as the semester progressed my peers and I grew closer and helped each other succeed, forming a relationship beyond just classmates.

In terms of my academic experience, I am continuing to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science. I enrolled in various computer science courses where I became more acquainted with both Python and Java computer languages. In terms of personal preference, I favor Java more. Not only did I learn the basic syntax, data types, and structures of programming, but I also learned how to put them together to create various programs. For instance, I created an intricate picture coded with just shapes and another coded with just lines. A more elaborate program was one that could provide the French or Hawaiian translation of certain English words. Another program is one that could sort someone into their proper year in university according to the amount of credits they had. I also created a math game that with every answer, it worked towards building a garden. To go into detail, for every right answer given, points are awarded and a flower grows, and for every wrong answer, points are subtracted and a weed is grown in the garden. Outside of class I also volunteered to help monitor the Pacific Northwest Region programming contest that occurred on campus. This contest consisted of students from various colleges in the Pacific NW region competing simultaneously to solve as many programming problems as they could. Due to Brigham Young University — Hawaii holding the contest for the colleges competing throughout the state of Hawaii, I was eager to learn what a typical competition like this entails.

Besides my major in computer science, I am also thinking of minoring in Hawaiian language and possibly accounting. The way that the university sets up its curriculum is that one must have a combination of one major and two minors selected from each category of arts & humanities, math & sciences, and professional studies. When I first began the school year I knew that I wanted to pursue computer science as my major, but was still unaware of what to minor in. In order to figure out my minors, I enrolled in various classes like forensic science, Hawaiian studies, psychology, biology, entrepreneurship, and more throughout my first year. Although all of these classes were interesting, I’m gonna now focus on pursuing Hawaiian language and accounting as my two minors.

Another notable thing that happened my freshman year at BYU-H was that in January of this year, I got a part-time job as a sound technician on campus. My duties primarily consisted of setting up and taking down any mics, DI boxes, and speakers needed for an event on campus. This job also required me to understand how to operate various machinery, like the soundboard, projector, robotic cameras, the switch, and more. I had the opportunity to assist with various events that occurred on campus like concerts, banquets, culture night, sports tournaments and finals, graduations, weekly devotionals, and many more.

I am continually grateful to have been chosen as a recipient of the 2022 Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship. I will strive to live up to the expectations that this unique opportunity has set for me as I continue my academic journey. Mahalo nui loa!”

Read: Kapaeloa Aki: Paubox Kahikina STEM Scholarship 2023 Update 

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