Before the crisis I was on campus every day. I worked at the Warrior Rec Center almost every day and would always spend my time studying in Hamilton Library. Being a computer engineering major requires me to spend a lot of time completing homework and preparing for exams.
Because of COVID-19 I am forced to stay at home, giving up my only job, and being disconnected from the hands-on aspect of learning. Financially, it has not been well. Being from a low income family and as a first generation college student, there is not much financial support and guidance. Having only a part-time job may not have seemed like much, but it helped me stay on my feet tremendously. I would be able to purchase class material that would aid in my study. However with the transition online, I have to also invest in additional equipment to be able to attend class and complete assignments, which has caused a great burden. Through the hardships, it is good to stay positive as this will not last forever, and that has been my exact mindset ever since.
My greatest concerns do not primarily lie in my studies but the health of my family. Without my family I would not be here, and so that is why I would sacrifice my education to provide for my loved ones if it ever comes down to the wire.
My dreams and plans of the future remain undetermined, but I have a general idea of what I want to do. I want to graduate with a bachelor's degree at our very own University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and go directly into the workforce. I do want to stay on the island so that I will still be connected to my loved ones and have the chance to give back to my community. However, I will cross that bridge when I get there and will focus on keeping my family and I on our feet.
Lastly, I want to thank the donors. It is truly a life saver to have received these funds in this time of need. The use of these funds will go directly back into my education and will help out greatly. Hopefully in the future, I will also be able to give back to my community like you all have and be able to put smiles on faces, and spread aloha all across the island.