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Kamehameha Schools seniors from KS Hawaiʻi, KS Maui and KS Kapālama joined with nā campus kahu to plan and coordinate a tri-campus baccalaureate service celebrating graduation with prayer, scripture, manaʻo and song. The virtual service – for students, families and friends – featured inspirational messages by KS Trustee Chair Lance Wilhelm and CEO Jack Wong.

KS graduates share messages of gratitude, strength and hope

June 2, 2020

Contributed by Nadine Lagaso

Nearly 700 good and industrious men and women recently graduated from Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi, Kamehameha Schools Maui and Kamehameha Schools Kapālama in drive-through ceremonies. Although it wasn’t the traditional graduation they had hoped for, their hearts were lifted by the spirit and pride of their parents, family, friends, KS administrators and kumu.

Members of the resilient Class of 2020 – whose proud parents are part of the KS employee ‘ohana – graciously share their messages of gratitude, strength and hope below. Scroll down to view family photos.

“Extraordinarily liminal. This is the phrase that comes to mind when describing my fellow Hīhīmanu a Kāne – the Class of 2020. As graduates, we exist at the threshold of post-high plans. As kānaka, we exist at the threshold of culture. As people, we exist at the threshold of a new world. Liminality – thresholds, transitions or change – can be scary, but it is something my class is no stranger to. Having developed the skills of adaptability, resiliency and courage to conquer seemingly insurmountable obstacles is proof that the Class of 2020 is unlike any other. I have no doubt that we will be able to conquer whatever lies ahead. As a child of Pauahi, I am most grateful for the awe-inspiring kumu who continue to motivate and guide me. I am also thankful for the incredible friends I have made who have become family. Mahalo nui Ke Aliʻi Pauahi, and mahalo to everyone who has helped pave my path forward.” – Travis Chai Andrade, KS Hawaiʻi graduate and son of Isha Charbonneau – KSH Kula Waena administrative assistant and TC Andrade – KSH Food Service worker

“Being a part of the resilient class of 2020 was really touching to me because we were able to overcome obstacles that would always fall right in front of us and still be able to reach our ultimate goals at the end. This experience made me stronger as a young kanaka because it showed me that Iʻm always able to overcome obstacles in my life, persevere, and always reach the finish line, which are my goals in school, sports, and in life. As a child of Pauahi, Iʻm most grateful for having the opportunity to attend Kamehameha Schools where I was able to strengthen my Hawaiian-Christian values, to be able to lead by example, and to help my lāhui thrive.” – Kobe Lilio, KS Maui graduate and son of Lesley Ann Pico-Lilio – KSM High School U.S. history kumu

“In the beginning of my senior year I remember being so excited anticipating the experiences of my last year in high school. However, this year didn’t go exactly as expected. But despite what can be seen as an upsetting circumstance, it’s become much more. I’ve learned many valuable lessons. To be still, to trust God, and to remember how blessed I am to be healthy and to be able to take a breath each morning. Being a part of the class of 2020 has taught me resilience and how to walk away from disappointments with my head held high. I am truly indebted to Princess Pauahi for allowing me to be a part of a family. I am thankful for my kumu and leaders who want nothing but the very best for us. I am grateful that Kamehameha has given me a home that has helped to shape and mold me. Mahalo e Ke Aliʻi Pauahi a me mahalo e Ke Akua. – Chelsey Sagon, KS Kapālama graduate and daughter of Michelle Anguay-Sagon, KSK Elementary School kumu

KS Hawaiʻi graduate Travis Chai Andrade was his class’ valedictorian. He will be attending Princeton University where he will explore learning opportunities in anthropology, operations research and financial engineering, international relations and public policy, neuroscience, and economics; and hopes to earn a certificate in entrepreneurship. Surrounding Travis are his father TC Andrade (a KSH Food Service worker), sister Alisha Andrade KSH’23, and mother Isha Charbonneau (a KSH Kula Waena administrative assistant).

KS Maui graduate Kobe Lilio plans to attend George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. He will major in engineering and has a spot on the men’s swim team. Kobe is joined by sister Kaydence KSM’22 and proud mom Lesley Ann Pico-Lilio, KSM U.S. history kumu.

KS Kapālama graduate Chelsey Sagon will attend Seattle Pacific University majoring in psychology and minoring in music. Chelsey is surrounded by uncle Shawn, brother Chase KSK’17, mother KSK Elementary School kumu Michelle Anguay-Sagon, and father Scott. Missing are sisters Channell KSK’07 and Christen KSK’10.


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