Community Recognition

2022 Community Heroes Award: District 48 Recipient

The recipients of the 2022 Community Heroes Awards were announced Saturday, April 16th by Kanu Hawai‘i and the Offices of Senator Bennette E. Misalucha (Senate District 16), Representative Nadine Nakamura (House District 14), and our office. The announcement was made in conjunction with Volunteer Week Hawai‘i, a weeklong celebration that coincides with National Volunteer Week, which occurs every year by Presidential Proclamation since 1974. The recipient of this year’s Community Heroes Award, representing District 48 is Mahealani Cypher!

Mahealani Cypher is a respected community leader in Ko‘olaupoko, who has given of her time, energy and aloha to serve our community and nurture the next generation of leaders. She has been involved in protecting our environment, sharing the history and stories of our community, and encouraging community voices to be heard, while bringing important issues to the forefront. Mahalo Mahealani for your incredible service to our community and for your commitment to advocacy and volunteering.

Mahalo also to Kanu Hawai‘i for helping to make this event possible and for supporting and recognizing our important community volunteers.  

To view the virtual award ceremony, visit (220) 2022 Community Heroes Award - YouTube. (Mahealani's recognition begins around 12:30)

Representative Lisa Kitagawa Scholarship

It is my honor to be able to award one Castle High School graduate each year with the Representative Lisa Kitagawa Scholarship. As a former higher education administrator and someone who attended college through the generous scholarships given by others, I have always wanted to give back and help other Castle High School students further their education. Awardees are those that demonstrate service to the school and community, show evidence of their leadership experiences, and have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA. Awardees also demonstrate some level of financial need and have been accepted into a higher education institution.


I was happy to be able to offer my 5th Annual Representative Lisa Kitagawa Scholarship to Graysen Oumi. Graysen is an outstanding student who has been an active part of Castle High School's music programs and volunteer organizations. Graysen has also served our community in many ways, including as a volunteer for King Intermediate's Band. Graysen excels academically, and was one of Castle's valedictorians. Best wishes to Graysen as he pursues his degree in Computer Science from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa!


The 4th Annual Representative Lisa Kitagawa Scholarship was given to Jennifer Maeda. Jennifer is an outstanding student who has been a member of Castle High School’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Club, Varsity Air Riflery Team, Hawai‘i State Student Council, and Debate Club. She has actively participated in community service projects with the 96744 Youth Council, Key Club, and the Salvation Army. Jennifer has also volunteered at beach clean-ups and the Honolulu Marathon. Jennifer will pursue her degree in Business Management from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.


Kelly Urasaki is the third annual Representative Lisa Kitagawa Scholarship recipient. Kelly served as president of Castle's Key Club, Student Chair of the Castle-Complex Community Council, a member of the National Honor Society and Health Occupations Students of America, and participated in band, tennis, and swimming. Kelly has also volunteered at Rainbow School, Kailua Physical Therapy Clinic, and the Kāne'ohe Public Library. She also excelled academically and was one of Castle's valedictorians. Kelly will be attending the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and majoring in computer science.


Aisha Yamamoto is the second annual Representative Lisa Kitagawa Scholarship recipient. Aisha served as Castle High School's class president for four consecutive years, and was also a member of the National Honor Society, Castle Key Club, HOSA-Future Health Professionals, Castle High School JV Track Team, Kokokahi Gymnastics Team, and Medical Academy Ambassador program. She also volunteered at many places including various elementary schools, Mālama 9744 Paintout, and Kokokahi Gymnastics. Aisha was one of Castle's valedictorians, and went on to attend the University of Southern California, majoring in biomedical engineering.


Kylie Tangonan was the first annual Representative Lisa Kitagawa Scholarship recipient. Kylie is an outstanding student, who held leadership positions and volunteered with numerous campus and community organizations. She excelled academically and was one of Castle's valedictorians. Kylie went on to continue her education at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City.

Outstanding 6th Grade Student Awards

As the State Representative for District 48, it is my goal to work with the schools in our community to support our students. One of the ways in which I hope to do this is by recognizing and awarding students for their achievement in school. Each year I award superior sixth grade students with the "Outstanding Sixth Grade Student Award" based on the recommendations of the schools. These students must show leadership potential, good citizenship, and academic achievement.


'Āhuimanu Elementary School - Gordon Foster & Maiara Dutta Elliott

Ben Parker Elementary School - Khloe Juliane & Natalie Anciano Gacula

He'eia Elementary School - Kristin Waianae & Marlee Chong

Kahalu'u Elementary School - Arywn Ryder & Jack Rodgers

Kapunahala Elementary School - Elias Toyomura & Avery Toilolo

Ka'a'awa Elementary School - Anelaonalani Kahlbaum

Pū'ōhala School - Analicia Bascas

Ke Kula Kaiapuni 'o Pū'ōhala - Parker Ke'alalaua'e Moseley



'Āhuimanu Elementary School - Samantha Shiroma

'Āhuimanu Elementary School - Tatelyn Ah Mow-Wauke

Ben Parker Elementary School - Jayleigh Brinkley and Kaihi Kimokeo

He'eia Elementary School - Hussin Eid

He'eia Elementary School - Kyra Vuikadavu

Kahalu'u Elementary School - Hannah Welch-Ornellas

Kahalu'u Elementary School - Riley Ching-Pickett

Kapunahala Elementary School - Esaiah Rivera and Kale'akainani Nakamura

Waiāhole Elementary School - Teavai Sonoda-Sofa



'Āhuimanu Elementary School - Adrienne Lininger

'Āhuimanu Elementary School - Justin Katayama

He'eia Elementary School - Clint Pahia

He'eia Elementary School - Sienna Sasaki

Kahalu'u Elementary School - Colby Kawaguchi

Kahalu'u Elementary School - Mikalah Thai

Waiāhole Elementary School - Braylee Woodland

Ben Parker Elementary School - Cameron Pierce

Ben Parker Elementary School - Francine Burgos

Kapunahala Elementary School - Ella Brown

Kapunahala Elementary School - Jarin Masaki



'Āhuimanu Elementary School - Brayley Ah Mow Wauke and Raydan Sedeno

Ben Parker Elementary School - Lahikiola Kailihiwa and Robby Keli'ikipi

Kahalu'u Elementary School - Jaris Quisano and Kiley Murakami

He'eia Elementary School - Kaylee Cieri

Pū'ōhala Elementary School - Olalikaipolaumaile Akioka

Pū'ōhala Elementary School - Leelah-James Abelaye

Waiāhole Elementary School - Mānoa Kahalepuna