Steps To Success

Ghenesis Balaan | Maui High School

The graduating class of 2018 at Maui High School are steps away from the beginning of a personal journey that will pave the way to their own futures. Every individual’s dreams and goals will differ from one another. Some may choose to go to college, others will find a stable job, or even join and serve in the United States military. Success is something all of these graduates hope to achieve. Senior year of high school is a time spent reflecting back on all those years in the classroom. The values, lessons, and morals taught will make a comeback in the memories of future graduates.


Ashley Andres will enter the Applied Business and Information Technology program at U.H. Maui College.
Photo courtesy Ashley Andres

High School was a “life changing experience” for Ashley Andres. She learned that “Failure to plan, is planning to fail.” Her time at Maui High School has taught her that if she can set her mind on something, nothing can stop her from achieving any goal she makes. To Ashley, success is a state where you have accomplished your dreams and aspirations in the most moral path possible. Her own version of a successful future is to become a business/company manager. She plans on attending the University of Hawai‘i Maui College and entering the Applied Business and Information Technology program as the first step in achieving this ambition. “Although the future is filled with so many possibilities, I’ll definitely miss the memories I’ve made in the past four years with wonderful people and the teachers who helped me grow into the person I am today” said Ashley.


Rose Ann Rafael will major in nursing at Grand Canyon University in Arizona.
Photo courtesy Rose Ann Rafael

In order to be successful in her future career as a registered nurse, Rose Ann Rafael will be attending Grand Canyon University in Arizona. She will be majoring in nursing and hopes to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. “Senior year has been hectic, memorable, and fun,” said Rose. While at Maui High School, she’s learned to be confident in herself and not let anyone define who she is. Through her position as the Maui High HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) 2017–2018 Director of Communication, she learned how to become a leader. Rose advises all upcoming seniors to realize that there is no time to procrastinate on any of the assignments that are given. “Cherish every moment and every time because everything will go by so quickly. It will be your last year of high school, so make it count and most importantly make the best out of it,” she added. Being able to finish college is success to her because education is the greatest treasure she’ll possess in her life. With it, Rose will be able to do anything she wants to achieve in life.


Jaymar Quedding plans to get his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Photo courtesy Jaymar Quedding

Senior year of High School proved to be “stressful, exciting, and enjoyable” to Jaymar Quedding. Joining HOSA made his high school year enjoyable. “HOSA has given me great satisfaction since I was able to realize my dream career of becoming a pharmacist through this organization and learn interesting things about the human body,” says Jaymar. He’s been accepted to the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) and plans to get his PharmD or Doctor of Pharmacy degree. He’ll undergo a rigorous curriculum of six years of pharmaceutical education to graduate. Jaymar said that in order to be successful in life you must learn to be content with whatever you’ve accomplished. Through each club/organization he’s joined and volunteering events he’s participated in, Jaymar believes that his efforts have been worthy of enriching the Maui community.


Levin Bonilla hopes to major in dental hygiene at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Photo courtesy Levin Bonilla

Levin Bonilla described his time in Maui High School as full of change, personal growth, and realization of endless possibilities in the future. Senior year has helped shape him to be a person who can be self-motivated, passionate, and committed to a goal which is to pursue a future career as a dental hygienist. “It’s important to have these qualities in life because without it, it may be difficult to deliver your best effort when it’s needed” says Levin. He will be attending the University of Hawai‘i Maui College to do his prerequisite classes and then transfer to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in hopes of majoring in Dental Hygiene. His HOSA Advisor has instilled in him the saying, “Pressure Makes Diamonds.” Levin explained: “To me, we need that extra push to go beyond what is expected of us and do more in giving back to the community that supports our generation’s endeavors. With the current career path I’m planning on heading to, I feel that this really applies to me, knowing that the medical field is both rigorous and rewarding, since our main purpose is to help people get better and improve their lives.”


Chealsey Corpuz will major in biological sciences at University of California, Irvine.
Photo courtesy Chealsey Corpuz

One advice Chealsey Corpuz wants to give to upcoming seniors would be cherish your last year as a high school student. “Believe me, time sure does fly by really fast,” she said. Her last year at Maui High School was limitless, full of inspiration and filled with self-growth. In the next ten years, she plans to work in a clinic on Maui as a Pediatrician, or perhaps work in a children’s hospital on O‘ahu. Chealsey will be attending the University of California, Irvine and major in biological sciences. Their well-integrated programs to help future health professionals like her to achieve their goals was why she chose this school. “I was always the quiet girl in class,” she said. Chealsey was part of the Maui High School Color Guard and served as the 2017–2018 MHS HOSA Secretary. “Being surrounded by outgoing people and being able to lead by example is what popped my introverted bubble,” she added. “Perseverance is what it takes to be successful in my future career. Going into medicine is very competitive (admissions to medical school is less than 3%), I can’t let failures hinder me; therefore, being ambitious of my goals is my priority to be successful in my future career as a physician,” she added.

The end of high school will be a bittersweet time for most graduating seniors. They’ll experience a wide range of emotions such as joy, exhaustion, nostalgia, pride and excitement. Friends, teachers, and families will be missed as they graduate. Behind the tears, these graduates have a vision of an alluring future on their mind. Going to college, finding a stable job, or joining the military are some steps people may take to get to the future they want. One thing motivates them to pursue their dreams, to be successful in whatever they choose to do. Success can be defined as many things but mainly to get to a state of comfort and achieve satisfaction in who you are as a person. As these seniors spend their last moments they have in school they must remember all they’ve been taught. The values obtained in the classroom are preparing them to take their first step into the world as adults.

[ghenesis balaan]

Google® Is Not Everything is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes that education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark.

This month’s guest columnist is Ghenesis Jhay Balaan, a sophomore at Maui High School attending its Culinary and Health CTE Pathway. He is a two year member of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and is serving as its 2017–2018 Council Treasurer. Ghenesis hopes to become a respiratory therapist in the future. He is the eldest son of Benjamin V. Ballesteros Jr. and Jerameelyn B. Ballesteros.