The HUB at the BYU-Hawaii campus was filled with high school students from different parts of the world as Holomua participants enjoyed a room full of pizza, bowling alleys, pool tables, ping-pong, karaoke, and video games on July 9.
Amazed by the enthusiastic environment, one of Holomua’s mentors, Ethan Miller, a junior from Laie studying applied math, noted how the HUB was full of people and energy. He said, “BYUH students use the HUB, but if you look at it now, it’s jam-packed, and filled with so many people. It’s really cool to see everyone use all of the games and see everything full. There’s a lot of energy. Holomua is a great opportunity for students.
“Some of [the students] are non-members. This is a great place for people of all ethnicities and… all religious backgrounds to come together to be in a relaxed and fun environment.”
One of the employees of the HUB, Ana Tucunduva, a freshman from Brazil studying psychology, shared why she thought the HUB is an important part of the community and how the participants of Holomua changed the feel of the place. She said, “Being far from town makes it hard to find places to have fun. I’m grateful for the HUB and the students.
“They are young, fun and vibrant, and help us to have a nice environment. I can see how happy they are. When you watch someone play ping-pong for 30 minutes you can see the difference it makes. I believe this is something that’s good for them.”
The participants of Holomua were high school students who came to participate in a college preparation program that will help them prepare for the ACT and gain admission preference to BYUH.
One the Holomua participants, Erica Yost, from the Big Island, said the HUB is an exciting place, and she loved how there was so much to do and great pizza. “At the moment, it’s pretty crowded in there, but I can see how it will be a fun place to hang out with friends on the weekend. I can see myself hanging out with my friends here in the future.”
The coming together of friends is exactly what one of this year’s Holomua mentor’s, Kit Liew, a sophomore from Malaysia studying computer science, is hoping students will enjoy because it “ties into the theme”. The theme of the first day of Holomua was Aloha. Liew continued by saying “one of the meanings of aloha is love.”
Reflecting on how her first day of Holomua has been so far, Yost said “It’s been fun. I’ve got to meet people from the mainland [and] from here. I think my favorite part has been getting to know new people and experiencing campus life.
Yost concluded, “Shout out to my stake for letting anyone who wanted to come be here. They paid for the experience and all [I] had to do was pay the airfare. A lot of kids wouldn’t be able to have this opportunity if it wasn’t for them, so thank you.”