Facing Our Future
Jazmyne Faith Viloria | Maui High School, Class of 2023
Wednesday, May 17: Maui High’s seniors’ last day. For seniors, their last school day, last high school class, and the end of their secondary schooling are now visible on “this month’s calendar.” While classes come to a halt, seniors still have one assignment left: deciding their future path. Now, seniors must choose how to fulfill their mission, purpose, and passions. Given this big decision, what factors have paved their future path?
“I have been playing soccer since I was four; the balance between competition and teamwork made me fall in love with the sport,” cherished Elizabeth Bautista. Her passion for soccer did not stop short; by continuously advancing her soccer techniques, she has “achieved a D1 soccer position at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. This has passed younger me’s expectations and formed a strong foundation for my future.” Like Elizabeth’s youth, Jovan Butac‘s childhood hobbies formed the building blocks of his future. “As a child, I would find random knick knacks around the house and construct contraptions, motivated by the question ‘How can I improve this?’ Since childhood, I began chasing the answers to my questions and curiosity.” Fueled by innovation, Jovan decided to attend Grand Canyon University and major in general engineering. For Elizabeth and Jovan, the sports, hobbies and passions that started in their youth have influenced today’s reality.
For others, their goals of strengthening communities and encouraging communal unity have influenced their future path. Taliah Jahnay Cabatu is attending Chapman University in the fall to major in environmental sciences and policy; with this degree, she hopes to “pursue a career that would help me give back to the ‘āina that raised me. Growing up, I became more appreciative of the mindset, values and cultures perpetuated through Maui. Obtaining my bachelor’s degree is a stepping stone to serving my community.” Aliyah Casayuran shares a similar mindset and motive, “I have dedicated my high school career to exploring the healthcare industry through health organizations and volunteering events. I plan to continue my passions in the medical field by attending Pacific University Oregon and majoring in kinesiology. Obtaining this degree will be a step towards my goal of helping people mentally and physically.”
As for me, every time I walk onto campus the college counselor’s huge “___ days til graduation” serves as a reminder the foundation my younger self has established for future me to flourish. Graduating itself is not daunting to me, however, the inevitable outcome of leaving Maui, my comfort zone and free education takes me a minute to process. These last few years of high school have played a crucial step in accessing my values, career, and future. I have recognized my priorities reside in community connectivity, creativity, and innovation and specifically using my skill set to strengthen my community and others. The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa also prioritizes these same values. I have committed to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa under the Shidler College of Business’s program to double major in creative media and marketing and become the first in my family to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
As fellow seniors advance to their next era in life, most have begun to reminisce and appreciate the experiences, friendships, and memories created throughout high school. “I feel sad, nervous, and excited all at the same time. It’s crazy how fast my high school journey is ending. Every senior is not joking when they say ‘time flies,’ ” exclaims Taliah. Similar to Taliah, Elizabeth feels like her “feelings are on a seesaw, one part of me is excited to explore a new chapter but the other part is sorrowful for the people who won’t be beside me.” Forming connections among peers, mentors, and teachers has created an aspect to miss, “I’ll miss my friends, teachers, and family the most. From talking stories during lunch, experiencing new moments together and everything in between, I’ll miss the spontaneous connection formed throughout high school,” admits Jovan.
As graduation day approaches, seniors’ future plans will soon turn into the present. “I can’t wait to see what the future has to offer for the class of 2023,” rejoices Aliyah. The tools, resources, and lessons learned through school, family, and friends have prepared them for what is yet to come.
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2023; your academic efforts and accomplishments will be recognized through loud stadium “chee-hoos,” lei towers and the support of family and friends.
Google® Is Not Everything is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Jazmyne Faith Viloria, a member of the Class of 2023 at Maui High School who is on her way to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. During high school, Jazmyne was a member of SaberScribes—Maui High’s journalism club—Historian of the Video Club and Team Captain of Blue Thunder, Maui High’s Robotics club. Jazmyne was in the ACOM Pathway at Maui High, focusing on videography and photography. In her free time, she sews and refashions old clothes, journals, edits photos/videos and loves to analyze lyrics in songs. Ruth Sagisi and Rudy Viloria are her proud parents.
The Fil-Am Voice congratulates Jazmyne and the Class of 2023!