Eileen Chao has joined the reporting staff of The Maui News.
Born and raised in Buena Park, Calif., Chao came to The Maui News after completing an internship at the online publication Honolulu Civil Beat in the spring. She covered the state Legislature and financial and other issues.
She served as a general assignment reporter for the Molokai Dispatch for a year before joining Civil Beat. She said that she had two weeks to pack up her things and move to an island of which she had never heard.
"Working and living on Molokai, I was able to receive the most genuine introduction to Hawaiian culture, tradition and values," she said. "People who lived there knew we (newspaper interns) didn't make a lot of money, so they would offer us food, invite us to luau and make us feel welcome."
Chao graduated from the University of California, San Diego in December 2011. During her time there, she wrote for the campus newspaper, The Guardian, and interned with local entertainment magazine The San Diego Entertainer and Clear Channel Communications, which has six San Diego radio stations.
She also studied abroad in England and Australia.
Chao resides in Wailuku.