Ewa Beach Teen Up For Youth Of The Year Award

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - West Oahu Islander -

now is serv­ing as a men­tor for younger kids at Hale Pono Club­house.

Her sis­ter An­gela was also a can­di­date for 2014 Youth of the Year. She joined the lead­er­ship pro­gram and, like her sis­ter, serves as a men­tor for her younger peers and vol­un­teers for nu­mer­ous com­mu­ni­ty­ser­vice projects. Over the past year, An­gela has ded­i­cated more than 100 hours to ser­vice.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Joy and An­gela for serv­ing as in­spi­ra­tional ex­am­ples, and my per­sonal mahalo to Hale Pono Club­house in Ewa Beach for giv­ing both girls hope for a brighter fu­ture!

A third in­spi­ra­tional young per­son whom I was for­tu­nate to meet is Ewa Beach res­i­dent Alyshia Shimizu. She made head­lines in 2000 when she con­tracted flesheat­ing bac­te­ria at the age of 5, forc­ing her to un­dergo nu­mer­ous surg­eries and years of phys­i­cal ther­apy. She over­came the phys­i­cal chal­lenges but found that the bul­ly­ing and taunt­ing from class­mates were dif­fi­cult to cope with.

Alyshia de­vel­oped a pos­i­tive out­look on life, which helped her to deal with her peers’ cruel re­marks. She en­rolled in karate and en­tered beauty pageants to gain more self-con­fi­dence. Dur­ing these beauty com- pe­ti­tions, Alyshia found that she wasn’t alone when it came to be­ing bul­lied. She used her plat­form as a beauty pageant con­tes­tant to speak out against bul­ly­ing.

I pre­sented Alyshia an hon­orary cer­tifi­cate at the City Coun­cil’s Feb. 19 meet­ing for per­se­ver­ance in the face of ad­ver­sity and for her coura­geous stance against bul­ly­ing. Alyshia’s story in­spires scores of young people to be­lieve in them­selves and rise above what­ever ob­sta­cles come their way in life.

City Councilman Ron Menor with Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii mem­ber Joy Gabriel, who is one of five re­gional can­di­dates for the state Youth of the Year award. Photo cour­tesy of Ron Menor.

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