Jamaica Aquino is the recipient of a Queen’s Health Systems Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship. This is an excerpt of her thank-you letter to donors.
As a scholarship recipient, I am happy and very appreciative to know that donors are a part of my educational journey. I am continuing my Respiratory Care Practitioner associate’s degree at Kapi‘olani Community College as a second-year student.
My experience as a respiratory care student has exposed me to the hospital setting. During my clinical rotations, I have learned to adapt to a new environment, met some very interesting patients and gained valuable skills. There is still much knowledge I would like to gain, and this is why I will continue my education at UH West O‘ahu to obtain a bachelor’s degree. I am very excited to soon be a part of our working community.
With the Queen’s Health Systems Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship, my financial burden is lightened, as I balance school and work. Although COVID-19 has disrupted my regular volunteer services, I plan to continue volunteering with the American Lung Association when it is safe to do so.
With the ALA, I had the opportunity to educate students about asthma, and I hope to create a similar program for the Native Hawaiian population. According to the NCBI, Native Hawaiian children have the highest prevalence of asthma among all ethnicities in Hawai‘i. I have an idea to create “asthma camps” for native Hawaiian children to learn about asthma and engage with one another in a fun and educational way. I could help provide parents with resources they need to understand the disease and lower the costs it may burden them with.
Although I still have a lot of learning to do and qualifications to meet, with your help, my vision can come true in the near future.