ALYSSA TSUCHIYA / KAISER HIGH SCHOOL
Senior Michelle Ip was one of 54 students, faculty and parents who donated blood at Kaiser's Blood Drive in January. The drive was sponsored by the school's National Honor Society.
Gift of blood builds pride
The National Honor Society at Kaiser High organizes a drive that garners 54 donations
Senior Michelle Ip forgot her superhero outfit at home. "I feel like Superwoman," said Ip. "I just saved three lives!" Although, from the bustling nurses around her to the IV in her arm, Ip looked as if it was her life being saved.
Kaiser High School
Allison Fujimoto and Alyssa Tsuchiya
511 Lunalilo Home Road,
Blue and gold
The Kaiser High School senior was one of many donors who participated in the Jan. 25 Blood Drive. The annual event, sponsored by Kaiser's National Honor Society, was held in the library from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kaiser's Blood Drive was in conjunction with the Blood Bank of Hawaii, which set a collection goal of 60 pints of blood. With a pint of blood being drawn from each donor, this goal required at least 60 people who not only were willing to "give the gift of life," but also met the requirements. To donate, one must be at least 18 years old (17 with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds and be in good health. Certain restrictions also applied to those who recently were pierced, tattooed or traveled to Europe, due to concerns about mad-cow disease.
Kaiser missed its goal by six pints of blood, with 54 pints collected, although no one is complaining.
"I got a phone call from Lia Wojtowicz (blood bank field representative)," said Rinda Fernandes, Kaiser's student activities coordinator and honor society adviser, "and she said that they were still very happy with a school of our size."
Aaron Knapp, the blood bank's director of donor recruitment, said: "Kaiser's one of our top supporters. With the size of their senior and junior class that we're working with, it's actually one of our top drives.
"Our state's needs are about 200 pints a day, so your blood drive, 60 pints, is about a third of the state's blood supply for today," said Knapp.
The Blood Drive did not come without its share of problems, however. Although NHS started planning before winter recess, no one anticipated what effect the newly lengthened vacation would have on preparations.
"I think the three-week break may have interfered with the momentum," Fernandes said. "One would think that it would give you more time, but not when people are all over the place on trips, filling out college applications and all that."
Another issue occurred when the Blood Drive's original Feb. 8 date was rescheduled two weeks earlier to Jan. 25.
"What happened was the Blood Bank of Hawaii called us and asked us if we could move the date that they had committed to us because they had to go to Kauai unexpectedly," Fernandes said. "But actually we had a really hard time finding a substitute date, and I was at the point of saying, 'If you can't come all these other times that are good for us, then maybe we won't have it this year at Kaiser.'"
When Jan. 25 finally rolled around, Fernandes and the NHS encountered their most significant obstacle yet: a lack of sufficient blood bank nurse staffing.
"We lost some people who couldn't wait to be taken in," Fernandes said. "The wait for some people was two hours. At one point they had just one lady drawing on the floor. I did ask the head nurse, and she said that they need to hire more people. They've had some turnover lately, so that didn't help."
As the day wore on, tough choices had to be made, and adult walk-ins were taken over a growing line of students as they had to get back to work. However, many students managed to donate; first-time donors contributed 37 of the 54 pints collected.
Even Principal Larry Kaliloa and Vice Principal Patrick Marquart were at the Blood Drive, and this time not just as sideline support.
"Last year, just being (at the Blood Drive), watching students come through, as well as teachers, that was awesome," Kaliloa said. "I know we have a blood bank shortage, and you never know when something is going to happen, like a disaster, or if somebody needs help."
This year, both administrators gave blood.
"I just thought it was a good idea to give to the school, and the students organize it really well, so I just wanted to contribute," said Marquart.
"In the state of Hawaii, 60 percent of us will need blood at one point in our lives, but only 2 percent of the population gives blood. We actually have the lowest percentage of people giving in all 50 states. So, we need the few people who give to give on a regular basis to meet our state's needs," said Knapp.
One of these people is parent Tina Guagliardo.
"I donate blood all the time. I think its a worthy cause. I've been donating since I was 17 years old. It's scary the first time but it's really nothing. It might sting a little bit, but it is so necessary and needed."
"You never know where your pint will go," said Knapp. "It might save a family member or a friend or someone you may never even come into contact with."
Editor's note: This story was honored as the Best News Story of 2007 at the Hawaii High School Journalism Contest, held April 25.
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Focusing on fun keeps champion surfer grounded
Kekoa Cazimero earns a world title while managing to keep a perfect GPA
Living on the islands of Hawaii, it's safe to say that we are surrounded by many beaches, waves and surfers, but we come across only one Kekoa Cazimero.
Surfing since he was 7 years old, Cazimero, a senior, gained the passion for wave riding from his father. Cazimero's love for surfing comes from the pure affection of simply being in the water. Plus, the essence of the beach itself makes this sport of his all the more enjoyable.
Regardless of whether the surf is up, Cazimero tries to get out into the ocean every chance he gets. He spends most of this time surfing at Sandy's and considers beaches like Ala Moana Bowls and Pipeline to be some of his favorite spots.
When Cazimero is not surfing for leisure, he is competing with some of the best teenagers around the world. In his most recent competition, the National Scholastic Surfing Association, Cazimero placed first out of 114 competitors from around the world. He earned the world title as an amateur and received the Governor's Cup for his achievement.
COURTESY OF ZAK NOYLE
Kaiser senior Kekoa Cazimero has surfed since he was 7 years old, saying his father is his biggest inspiration in life.
Going into the competition, Cazimero is used to the atmosphere and shows no sign of nervousness.
"I just go out there, surf and have fun," he said, trying not to stress the fact that he is always competing.
Being a professional surfer, Cazimero also is recognized for all his success and accomplishments through sponsors. To become sponsored, a surfer has to be good at what he or she does. Cazimero, sponsored by companies such as Hurley, Oakley, Reef, HIC and Da Kine, ranks among the best.
Aside from surfing, he does pretty much what other teenagers do, like hanging out and cruising with his friends. Also, keeping in touch with his passion for the ocean, Cazimero does many other sports activities that pertain to water, like riding his Jet Ski and diving.
With his busy schedule of traveling around the world for surf meets, spending time with people and living his own life, Cazimero still finds a way to maintain a 4.0 grade point average.
Describing himself as smart, quick, outgoing and down to do whatever, Cazimero always keeps in mind to have fun no matter what. Besides looking up to his favorite pro surfers, Andy Irons and Kelly Slater, Cazimero claims his father to be the biggest inspiration in his life.
When asked what advice he could give fellow surfers, he said that grades are important and that it is always good to have a backup plan. Cazimero also added with strong words, to just "stay in the water."
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"What’s the strangest dream you ever had?"
"I woke up, and I was inside Anna Nicole's pink coffin surrounded by teddy bears. I kept trying to pound and claw my way out of there, but I couldn't."
"In my dream I realized that I was going blind, and I kept thinking, 'No, no.' Then, when I completely lost my sight, I was discombobulated. I tried to make myself feel like everything was normal."
"I have this recurring dream of being chased by giant green frogs trying to eat or touch me."
"I was in a flying car, like in 'Back to the Future,' and I was laughing at everyone who didn't have a flying car."
"I had a dream that I was living with monkeys. I was sitting in a tree with all my friends, and I had the sudden urge to eat someone else's ukus (head lice). When I woke up, I was chewing on my finger."
"When I was small, I dreamt that I was in a canoe going down the river. I really had to pee, so I peed overboard. When I woke up, my bed was wet."
"I was swimming in a tub of cheddar cheese while playing the harmonica."
"I went to church and there were dinosaurs everywhere. I ended up hiding in a cardboard box scared to death. Then these raptors trampled over the cardboard boxes."
"I dreamed of every sport imaginable. I would always try to score the winning goal or race to the finish line, but sadly I can never get there."