Personal: Age 17; daughter of Gary and Laura Kawahara, of Pukalani; enjoys playing sports, especially basketball, spending time with family, going to the beach, surfing, laughing, listening to music, traveling and eating.
At School: Basketball captain, volleyball, judo, Leo Club, Interact Club, Japanese Club, Advancement Via Individual Determination tutor, 2010 Junior Prom Court princess, Advanced Placement classes, honor roll.
Off Campus: American Cancer Society Relay For Life participant, Na Koa Ikaika baseball volunteer, Day of Hope Marathon volunteer, Salvation Army bell-ringing volunteer, New Perspectives Japan student, alumna of the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., Maui County precinct official.
Tori Kiku Kawahara
Beyond High School: Short-term goals are to graduate as class valedictorian and attend a four-year college on the West Coast. Long-term aspiration is to study medicine or business administration with hopes of returning to Maui to contribute to the community.
What do you think is the biggest problem facing youth today? "The biggest problem facing youth today is the fear of failure. We constantly worry about the criticism of others and contemplate whether putting in the effort is worth the negative feedback that might follow. This irrational fear prevents us from discovering our unique talents. We must unlock our paths to optimum individual growth. Failure has such a pessimistic outlook that we forget how failure has contributed to our success. Learning from our mistakes strengthens our efforts that follow. Failure should not be frowned upon; it opens the door to success and allows us to reach our greatest potential."
The students in this weekly feature are selected by officials at their respective high schools. "Student Spotlight" recognizes students of good character who are involved in school or community activities such as athletics, clubs, student government and volunteer work.