Seven Maui County students were selected statewide for the HLTA Citizen-Scholar Awards

Maui County top scholar Zahra K. Bhattacharya. PC: courtesy of HTLA

Seven Maui County public school students were among the 42 individuals selected for the Citizen-Scholar Awards. More than $60,000 in scholarships were distributed to public high school seniors during a luncheon at Prince Walkīkī on Wednesday.

The 18th annual event was hosted by the Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association in partnership with the Honolulu Star Advertiser and the Department of Education.

“The Citizen-Scholar Awards is a signature HLTA event that provides us with an opportunity to focus on our educational and philanthropic missions,” said HLTA President and CEO Mufi Hannemann. “Reviewing their resumes and learning about their passions and aspirations is extremely humbling and I am proud to recognize them for their accomplishments. This year’s scholarship class is exemplary in every definition of the word and we are all excited to see what else they will achieve.”

The Citizen-Scholar Awards are made possible by generous donations from private companies and organizations – the vast majority coming from the local hospitality industry. Each sponsor is assigned a grantee selected by their school administration for recognition.

*Maui recipients are highlighted below:

Recipients of the 2022 Citizen-Scholar Awards. PC: Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association

2022 Citizen Scholars


Admiral Arthur W Radford High School – Kyla A Musso
‘Aiea High School – Kairi Gervacio
Governor Wallace Rider Farrington High School—Jayden-Joseph Acoba
Hāna High & Elementary School – Tyra-Li Perry
Henry J. Kaiser High School – Elana Gingers
Henry Perrine Baldwin High School—Zahra Bhattacharya
Hilo High School—Maya C. Oishi
Honoka’a High & Intermediate School – Daelyn Jo Ann De Luz
James B. Castle High School—Ryden Matsuda
James Campbell High School – Christie Jiang
Kahuku High & Intermediate School – Natali Keni
Kailua High School—Madeline K Tamura
Kaimukī High School – Nhi Nguyen
Kalaheo High School – Kawehi Bringas
Kalani High School – Hinano Tsuchiya
Kapa’a High School – Madhav Collins-Doijode
Kapolei High School – Naleia Jazelle Tacadena
Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary School – Shemayah Doi
Kauai High School—Holly Taguma
Kea’au High School – Crystal Ann Simeon
Kealakehe High School—Carolyn E. Clebsch
König-Kekaulike-Gymnasium – Kali Spalding
Kohala High School – Lorenzo Akamu Bates
Konawaena High School – Lacey Young
Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Ānuenue – Jayden Hiwauli
Lahainaluna High School – Kalolaine Pasikala
Lāna’i High & Elementary School – Stephani Badillo

Leilehua High School—Hyunny Cha
Maui High School—Gwen T Jaramillo
Mililani High School—Jazlyne Nitta
Moanalua High School—Kolby Yamamoto
Molokaʻi High School – Paige Fukuoka
Nānākuli High & Intermediate School—Christian Dave Collado
Pāhoa High School—Jamie Pabro-Andres
Pearl City High School—Rylie Goo
President Theodore Roosevelt High School—Sierra K. Youth
President William McKinley High School – Katherine Liu
Waiākea High School – Matthew Labasan
Waialua High and Intermediate School—Cyan Tyger Mezin
Wai’anae High School – Ezekiel Jianne Briones
Waimea High School—Glydelle Valmaja
Waipahu High School—Taylor Fukunaga

Top County Scholars


Island of Hawaii—Maya C. Oishi
Hilo High School
University of Texas at Austin

Maui—Zahra K. Bhattacharya
Henry Perrine Baldwin High School
University of Southern California

O’ahu—Hinano Tsuchiya
Kalani High School
Princeton University


Kaua’i – Madhav J. Collins-Doijode
Kapa’a High School
Swarthmore College

Overall Citizen Scholar Winner

Carolyn E Clebsch
Kealakehe High School
University at Stanford

Carolyn describes herself as a Native Hawaiian artist dedicated to community work focused on culture, educational reform, and indigenous rights. On campus, she is involved in activities such as Rocketry Club, Model UN, Science Fair, and SkillsUSA, and leads teams to national and international competitions. Outside of the classroom, she has helped build community centers like the Haleki’i Resilience Hub, where she has led collaborative keiki murals showcasing endemic wildlife, native values ​​and Hawaiian legends.

Jayden Joseph Acoba
Governor Wallace Rider Farrington High School
Harvard University

During his time at Farrington, Jayden-Joseph has found success in leadership positions; He served as class president for three years, vice president of the Farrington chapter of Health Occupations Students of America, and vice president of the Farrington chapter of the National Honor Society. A dedicated volunteer working closely with elementary school students, he will serve at the top of his class.

Sponsors of the Citizen-Scholar Awards

From the pool of 42 students, the HLTA Scholarships Committee selects a top scholarship recipient for each district and a best overall male and female scholarship recipient. The top county winners will receive an additional $2,500 stipend, and the two overall winners will receive an additional $5,000.

“The Honolulu Star Advertiser is proud to partner with HLTA and the DOE to congratulate and recognize this year’s class of citizen scholars. They are exceptional students, leaders and dedicated community servants committed to excellence, and I wish them well as they begin the next phase of their academic careers,” said David Kennedy, Honolulu Star-Advertiser Chief Revenue Officer.

In recent years, citizen scholars have been encouraged and invited to speak at the annual luncheon. These students were impressive on the podium, so for the first time, grantees selected to provide remarks or impetus to bless the event were awarded a $500 grant. This year, Jayden Hiwauli of Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Ānuenue blessed the luncheon with a prayer in ‘ōlelo Hawai’i, while Shemayah Doi of Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary School and Elana Gingers of Henry J. Kaiser High School shared opening and closing remarks .

“It’s gratifying to see the local business community celebrating some of our most promising young leaders,” said Keith Hayashi, Hawaii Department of Education interim superintendent. “These students have already made such impressive contributions to our community, and the Citizen-Scholars Awards will definitely help pave their path to even greater future success.”

Sponsors of this year’s event included: Alaska Airlines; ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach; Aqua Aston Hospitality; Big Island candy; Blue Hawaiian; Castle Resorts & Hotels; Courtyard Marriott – O’ahu, North Shore; Domino’s Pizza Hawaii; Enterprise Rent A Car; First Hawaiian Bank; first on site; Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa; Halekulani & Halepuna Waikīkīʻ Halekulani Corporation; Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association – Hawai’i Island Chapter (sponsored two students); Hawaiian Airlines; Hawaiian Electrics; Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association – Kaua’i Chapter; Honolulu Star Advertiser; Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa; International Marketplace; island movers; Kaimana Beach Hotel; KTA Super Stores; Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club; Maui Hotel and Lodging Association; Mauna Kea Resort; Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa & Sheraton; Princess Kaiulani; Outrigger Hospitality Group; Pūlama Lāna’i; Robert’s Hawaii; Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort; Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa; Sheraton Waikīkī & The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort; Springboard Hospitality; The Orchid Lei Company; The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikīkī Beach; and Trump International Hotel Waikīkī.

The Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association is the state’s oldest and largest private organization representing hotels, condominiums, timeshares, other lodging businesses, suppliers and related businesses and individuals related to tourism. HLTA’s mission is to support the hospitality industry through education, policy, and membership benefits, and to raise awareness of its contributions across the state.

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