Caring student, sonBy Rod Ohira
headed for Europe
Dreams do come true at Kamehameha Homes in Kalihi.
Jordan Salis, a 16-year-old Castle High junior and Kamehameha Homes resident, will be going to Europe this summer after neighbors raised nearly $10,000 in one month to pay for the People to People Student Ambassador Program trip.
"The trip costs $4,000 and we're giving him $2,000 for clothes and spending money," said Zara Aki of the Kamehameha Homes Tenant Association. "We're placing the rest in a trust fund for Jordan's college education.
"It's very touching to see so much aloha even though the economy is bad." she added. "But Jordan's situation was unique."
In addition to being a model student with a 3.7 cumulative grade point average, the aspiring lawyer works part-time at IMAX Theatre in Waikiki.
He also is the glue that holds his family together.
Jordan's father, Derek, is a disabled single parent with a fixed income.
"For the past three years, Jordan has taken the place of his mother -- he washes clothes, cooks dinner and gets his sister and brother ready for school," Derek Salis said last month.
Knowing that Jordan had sacrificed other travel opportunities in the past, tenant association President Gary Aki organized a fund-raiser to send him to Europe.
"I'm thankful for all the support," Jordan said.
The state Senate on Thursday presented Jordan with a certificate of congratulations for his accomplishments and $750 donated by senators and staff, said Shirley Cavanaugh of Senate President Norman Mizuguchi's office.
"Jordan is the perfect young person to take the aloha spirit from Hawaii to Europe, where he will build a bond of friendship and mutual understanding," the certificate says.
Jordan and 19 other Hawaii student ambassadors are scheduled to leave for Europe on June 10.