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Four years in the political science major, three minors, four certificates and a plan to take the LSAT by the end of the year, and yet, Samoa native Leilani “Lani” Tafili-Arnett, who graduated last semester, said she has never really liked school.
Leonil Mosquera said he is feeling accomplished even though his commencement was canceled and there is a low chance he may get a job because of COVID-19. But he said he is putting his trust in the Lord and is looking forward to a brighter future, he shared.
Sosefina Finau, an alumna from Tonga who majored in human resources and organizational behavior, reflected on her time at BYU–Hawaii leading up to graduation. She said she was grateful for the opportunity to participate in Culture Night and gain work experience at the Polynesian Culture Center. She counseled students to find the right friends who will encourage them to be successful.
Leilani Tafili-Arnett looks to law school and hopes to make her dad proud
Leonil Mosquera, who graduated summa cum laude, shares optimism and faith in the Lord
Alumna Sosefina Finau is driven by purpose to help those around her
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As the United States and the world at large reels in the face of protests and riots in response to the death of George Floyd after being choked by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin, BYU–Hawaii students called for policy change and unity in order to bring healing to the nation and the beyond.
After acting in the new “Book of Mormon Videos” series produced by the Church, students and alumni said it was an honor for them to bring something holy, such as the scriptures, to life. They said they felt the influence of the Spirit on themselves and saw it guiding other actors and the crew as well as they worked to recreate the scripture stories.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Nakitta Faupula Ellis and Ezrym Ellis shared their experience of staying grateful for what they have after getting married and not being able to return to New Zealand.
After being arrested for a crime he did not commit, Cheng Hao “Nelson JS” Leung said his few days in an Egyptian prison strengthened his faith in the gospel and led him to serve a full-time mission in Canada. Through this experience, Nelson said he was able to find the courage to tell his family he was a member of the Church, a fact he had been hiding from them for years.
During quarantine and social distancing, BYU–Hawaii students and professors talk about the Netflix sensation, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” and how its deeper truths of animal abuse and human character need to be discussed.
When he was 6 years old, Kris Krisanalome said he learned to play the drums from his father. Krisanalome explained this is both how he and his father became closer and how he discovered his love for all things percussion, specifically the drum set.
As a freshman dancer in the villages at the Polynesian Cultural Center who was uncomfortable with his body, Holmes Finau said he decided to change his lifestyle in order to improve his body.
Raihau Gariki, a graduate from Tahiti who majored in TESOL, said although coming to BYUH was not what she had planned for her life, the spirituality and experiences from the campus could not have been found elsewhere.
Jacob Lauder, a marketing graduate from Ohio, and his fiancée, Bichtram Nguyen, an alumna of the University of Toledo, said they believe they can build a happy marriage, despite their cultural and religious differences, because they are committed to making their relationship successful.