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Allen Hong
June 7, 2024
  • Allen Hong in the classroom

Allen Hong is a senior working on his bachelor’s degree in elementary education at UH Mānoa, in the College of Education’s Statewide Cohort Program. He is a recipient of the Dorothy M. Kahananui Scholarship in Music Education. This is his thank-you letter to donors.

Teaching music: a role I’ve always been meant to play

Allen HongI grew up in the small town of Kailua Kona when there were very few resources for someone who wanted to pursue a career in music. Arts programs continued to be cut from our public schools and made those dreams even more unlikely to be realized. However, I was fortunate to have the help of many amazing teachers who saw my talents and wanted to nurture my abilities in every way they could.

My teachers volunteered their time to coach me, made sure I had access to many important materials and texts, and notified me of competitions that could help me be recognized for my talents. It was their selfless efforts to help a student from a low-income family pursue the dreams he wanted to chase that made me want to be a teacher, so I could inspire and help other children to go after their own impossible dreams – the same way as they all inspired me.

With the support and aloha of my wonderful teachers, I did work in the entertainment industry for many years before returning to Hawai‘i to help care for my family in their senior years. I was told about an open position for a music resource teacher at Kahakai Elementary School and I knew I was being given the chance to step into the role I had been meant to play for many years.

Inspiring children – the way my teachers inspired me

I am so honored to be a recipient of this award and I can assure you that it will be used for the best possible purpose of all. Your generous donation will fund my licensure program toward getting my elementary teaching degree here at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

My family still lives within limited means, and my part-time music teacher pay is not able to assist in the funding of my studies. Because of amazing donors like you, I am working toward becoming the teacher I have truly always meant to be. I am ready to step into a full-time role as the kind of teacher who inspires our keiki to true greatness by helping them to believe in themselves and to reach for the stars.

Mahalo nui loa. I do not know if there could ever be a way to adequately express how grateful and how humbled I am that you have chosen me for this honor. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and please know that I will work as hard as I possibly can to ensure that your generous gift is not wasted in any way.

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