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Seven Sacred Hearts Academy students have been recognized by the National Center for Women and Informational Technology (NCWIT) Hawaii for the locally-affiliated Aspirations in Computing Award.
Sophomore Aiyana Arnobit and seniors Sydney Chock, Carlee Matsunaga, Shailyn Wilson, Taryn Wong, Christina Chen and Ashley Lardizabal have been selected by the local chapter in recognition of their contributions to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
They were nominated by Academy math department chair Deborah Kula, who has played an active role in mentoring the girls in their STEM endeavors at school.
“I encouraged all of my students to apply, if they have significant experience with STEM, especially with computers and programming,” Kula said.
Although the youngest, Arnobit is a veteran member of all technology-based clubs at the Academy. She has participated in robotics since the fourth grade, Girls Who Code since seventh grade and CyberPatriots since she was a freshman.
“I like problem solving and troubleshooting, and thankfully, that’s what STEM is all about,” Arnobit said. “Being a part of all these extra-curriculars have benefitted me and helped me recognize what I want to do in the future.”
At such a young age, her many accomplishments and participation have merited her to not only receive the locally-affiliated Aspirations in Computing Award but also earn an Honorable Mention for the National Aspirations in Computing Award.
“It’s an honor to be acknowledged for my achievements in computing,” Arnobit said. “I think it’s monumental to even have an award that warrants recognition for aspiring women in technology.”
The seven award recipients attended a luncheon at the University of Hawaii on April 11.
“I am proud of the accomplishments of these seven students and feel great that NCWIT recognizes their work and their potential,” Kula said. “I am proud of their persistence with ‘tough stuff’ and see a very bright future for them.”
Sacred Hearts Academy’s Advanced Placement (AP) Physics students had the opportunity to learn about physics in an innovative, fast-paced manner, while also testing out their driving skills.
Earlier this week, the class of seniors visited K1 Speed, a go-kart racing establishment in Kapolei. The Physics students previously studied the concepts of velocity, acceleration, momentum, circuits, centripetal motion and friction. They applied these concepts to their races.
The students raced each other around the track, attaining speeds up to 23 miles per hour and completing 14 laps each.
In addition, they were treated to an exclusive tour and viewing of the different components of a go-kart. Students were able to see the inside electrical steering and braking systems of a go-kart, as well the go-kart track, which utilizes springs to absorb energy from vehicles that hit the walls.
“The speedster this year was (senior) Ji Won Ha, with a best lap time of 24.648 seconds,” Physics teacher Joseph Lyons said. “Not bad for someone who does not yet have her driver’s license.”
Senior Frances Nicole Tabios also considered the field trip to be an enjoyable learning experience.
“It was really fun,” Tabios said. “It was refreshing to take a break from the classroom and learn about physics concepts in a new, real-life environment.”
This is the second year the Academy has had an AP Physics option for seniors. It is an Algebra-based class in which students study the principles of the laws of nature, including gravity, projectile motion and Newton’s Laws.
This week, students and faculty at Sacred Hearts Academy helped save three lives by donating a pint of blood to the Blood Bank of Hawaii.
This was part of the school’s annual blood drive, which is coordinated by the science department. According to the Blood Bank, one pint of blood can save up to three people in need of blood transfusions.
This year, with parental or guardian consent, 16-year-old students were able to donate. In the past, only students as young as 17 years old were allowed to donate with their parents’ or guardians’ consent.
Due to the policy change, Academy junior Megan Mattison believes there were more donors than usual.
“I know a lot of my friends, who are 16 years old, (will be donating),” she said.
Prior to the drive, the Blood Bank presented to high school students on the process of giving blood and how to prepare. This included what donors should and should not eat on the morning of the drive. Donors must also weigh at least 110 lbs. and have a photo identification with a birth date.
Mattison had never donated blood before but looked forward to helping save lives.
“I’m excited because I know that my blood is going to help people in need,” Mattison said.
The actual donating time takes about 45 minutes to one hour. During this time, the donor receives a physical examination, to make sure he or she is in good health. The process of drawing blood takes about five to seven minutes.
For more information on the Blood Bank of Hawaii, visit bbh.org.
When applying to a college, the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and American College Tests (ACT) are huge factors in determining college acceptance.
Last month, a few juniors from Sacred Hearts Academy took the SAT, along with other juniors from around the country.
To prepare for the test, students may take SAT prep classes or hire a private one-on-one tutor.
“The SAT was one of the hardest tests that I took in my life,” junior Angelyne Loiselle said. “I suggest studying at least a month before your test date and taking a prep class.”
The Academy is offering SAT prep classes to its students. Solutions Test Prep & Tutoring provides an SAT class, which goes from Feb. 22 to March 10.
The tutoring service is also offering a combo class for both SAT and ACT preparation. The class starts on Feb. 22 and extends to April 5.
“Any opportunity for a student to get prepared for the SAT or ACT is good,” Academy College Counselor Randy Fong said. “Solutions Test Prep & Tutoring has a good track record in improving students’ scores. They help by providing textbooks and handouts that inform the students on the best ways to take the tests.”
Last week, Sacred Hearts Academy juniors officially became upperclassmen through the annual Junior Ring ceremony. The ceremony has been a school tradition for more than 70 years.
Junior Madeleine Sing, who has been a student at the Academy since grade school, said that being an upperclassman will take some getting used to.
“The fact that we’re almost seniors is pretty scary,” she said. “But I’m extremely excited to spend my last memories in high school with the class of 2018.”
Prior to the ceremony, which occurs in the school chapel, students chose to receive either the traditional ring or the class pin. In addition to parents presenting their daughter with the class memorabilia, students also receive a rose from their class.
While some students are still trying to process this transition of becoming upperclassmen, others, like junior Alana Glaser, say this moment is one she has looked forward to for years.
“It is very special to come from a long legacy of Sacred Hearts Academy graduates,” she said. “I take great pride in the legacy; in fact, this year I was wearing my mother’s class ring until I received my own last night at the ceremony.”
Now that juniors are officially upperclassmen, they can look forward to events closing out their junior year. Upcoming events include next week’s service day at Papahana Kuaola Loi and junior prom at the end of April.
“I look forward to the future, though, and I know I will always value the friends and experiences,” Glaser said.
Sacred Hearts Academy seniors will take part in one of the last major events of their high school careers in April, as they prepare to dance the night away at senior prom.
This year’s prom theme is “From this Moment,” inspired by the live-action adaptation of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
Prom committee member and senior Carlee Matsunaga said that there is much more to this event than the makeup and gowns.
“Everyone should really come and enjoy themselves because it is one of the last large events we have together as a division,” Matsunaga said.
The event will be on April 1 at The Modern Honolulu from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Students in attendance are expected to don formal wear. Tickets are priced at $75 and sales will run until March 10.
Matsunaga hopes that more seniors will be encouraged to attend prom.
“We want this to be an exciting event and a bonding experience, so the more of the division that attends, the better it will be,” she said.
The welcoming wags of a few furry visitors signaled the start to this year’s Science Symposium at Sacred Hearts Academy. The dogs were part of a veterinary medicine workshop, which allowed attendees to get a hands-on look into the world of veterinarians.
More than 300 fifth through eighth graders from about 100 schools participated in the annual event. Participants learned about different topics, such as robotics, marine biology, aviation and geology.
This year, the program was slightly different from prior years. Instead of having only a single session to explore a topic, students had the chance to stay for two sessions.
Robotics Goes First was among several workshops that extended for two different sessions. The Academy’s robotics teacher, Peter Park, taught the class.
“I think (the Science Symposium) was a success because I could see the many young girls that were inspired,” Park said. “(The robotics team) may have inspired (the participants) to be interested in robotics.”
While students were exploring different fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), parents attended their own workshops. They enjoyed a presentation by a panel of STEM experts.
Students from Maili Elementary and St. Joseph School were both shuttled to the Academy’s campus in Honolulu. According to event coordinator Rodney Chang, this showed that the school administrators have a strong reliance on STEM education.
Seventeen-year-old J. Reyes knew she was flirting with danger when downloading a dating app to her mobile phone. She was under the 18-year-old age restriction but says curiosity fueled her decision to pursue companionship in the virtual world and lie about her age.
“I was just bored and wanted to try it out for fun,” said Reyes, who is a high school senior. She requested her full name remain anonymous and explains how she created an account for Tinder, a dating app that connects users by their interests and GPS locations.Swipe-right trend on the rise
Reyes joins a growing number of Hawaii’s youth who are delving into the tap-and-swipe culture that dominates today’s dating scene. And while it’s an attractive idea for them, Hawaii cybercrime investigator Chris Duque said it is also a risk.
He referenced recent accounts, on separate occasions, in which two Hawaii teenagers were sexually assaulted by someone they have been communicating with online.
Reyes said she was aware of such dangers and took precautions when setting up her account.
“I created a separate email and Facebook account (which is how Tinder authenticates users),” she said. “I didn’t want my personal account and information to be seen by people I barely knew.”
With Tinder, users swipe right for “like” and left for “pass” to find matches with nearby Tinder users. After using the app for about a day, Reyes had already received more than a dozen dating matches; one of which she pursued to meet in person after a week of video chatting and text messaging.
“I was comfortable when we first met because my friends knew the guy, so it wasn’t as awkward,” said Reyes, who met up with the 19-year-old “Tinderfella,” as they’re called, at a beach near Diamond Head earlier this school year.
Duque, a former Honolulu Police Department officer who now works as a cybercrime investigator for the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office, says Reyes was lucky her first meetup didn’t end up worse.
“When you do anything online, especially online dating, the devices and services you use serve as a mask,” he said. “You don’t know who you’re communicating (with) on the other side.”
A study by the Pew Research Center reports that 53 percent of teens have started friendships over the internet, while 8 percent have dated someone they first met online.
The pair had been on multiple dates since first meeting at the beach. Reyes said she did not encounter any uncomfortable or unsafe situations while in contact with this person.Dangers of online dating
Despite innocent intentions to meet new people, online dating platforms are notorious for perpetrators and predators because there is no way to verify a user’s age. There is also no way of preventing users from creating false profiles.
Of Tinder’s more than 50 million users, about 7 percent are between the ages of 13 and 17 years old.
“Dating apps draw a specific type of clientele,” Duque said. “There are people who are in an emotional state, looking for some kind of affection or interaction. Predators and criminals feed on those emotionally handicapped this way.”
According to Duque, sexual assault, rape, sodomy and extortion are commonly seen cases among Hawaii youth looking for love online.
Alleged perpetrators could face jail time for engaging in sexual acts with a minor, while the underaged user might have his or her dating account deleted for violating the terms of service.
In addition to Tinder, teens are dabbling in the dating world with apps like, Bumble, MeetMe and Pure Dating, according to mobile parental control service Netsanity.Playing it safe
For teens who want to pursue online friendships, Duque advises that they play it safe. They should not only verify with trustworthy sources before meeting the person but also stick to traditional social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
In a sense, he said, traditional social media apps prove to be of safer use because they provide a more transparent profile for those seeking to meet new people.
After using Tinder for several months, Reyes recently decided to end her online relationship. She also deleted the Tinder app from her mobile phone for the same reason she downloaded it–she got bored.
“My experiences have taught me that online dating is unrealistic, and I no longer want to involve myself in those types of (relationships),” she said and has not since used any other dating platform.Prevention starts with parents
Not all teens are able to come to the same conclusion as Reyes, which is why Hawaii state lawmakers are taking action.
State Sen. Will Espero, who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, aims to increase domestic violence safety with a proposed legislation. This legislation would direct more funding toward the Attorney General’s office and other law enforcement that could help prevent internet crimes.
Until the legislation is passed, Duque advises parents to take the lead. The first step would be to monitor their child’s mobile device use, ensuring their child is not using such devices in the bathroom or alone in a bedroom.
Parents should also be vigilant of unusual behavior and encourage an open discussion with their children about internet use.
The use of mobile devices is a privilege and not a right for youth, Duque said. He emphasizes that “technology is a tool that young people need in their lives, but they need to use it correctly and safely so they don’t get hurt.”
The sounds of joyful chorus filled Sacred Hearts Academy’s St. Mary Margaret’s Chapel early Friday evening, as the LIFE Team hosted the school’s first “Praise and Worship.”
Senior Shailyn Makana Wilson had an enjoyable experience while at the event.
“The experience I got at ‘Praise and Worship’ is really like no other feeling, and there is no real way to describe (it),” Wilson said. “It was really fun to be able to sing some of my favorite praise and worship songs with my friends.”
The “Praise and Worship” included many attendees, such as students from Kamehameha, Damien Memorial School and Waipahu High School, and their families. The teens spent the night dancing and singing along to the tunes of Refiner’s Worship, a New Christian band formed by parishioners from St. John Apostle and Evangelist Church.
With the support of those who attended, LIFE Team was able to donate $166 to Hoola Na Pua, a local organization with a mission to aid female victims of human trafficking.
Between songs, participants enjoyed brownies, cookies, hot dogs and juice, provided by the LIFE Team and fellowship.
Wilson believes that everyone should experience a “Praise and Worship.”
“I would definitely encourage people to go,” she said. “They should come because it really is an amazing experience. Once you start to sing the songs and see how everyone starts to interact with each other, you will not want to leave.”
For the first time in Lancer history, the Sacred Hearts Academy’s LIFE Team will be hosting a “Praise and Worship,” where community members come together to praise God in the form of music and fellowship.
The event, spearheaded by LIFE Team member and senior Adrianne Del Rosario, was inspired by this year’s Catholic Schools Week theme. “Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
The “Praise and Worship” will be held on Feb. 10 in the Academy’s Chapel from 5 to 8 p.m. and features music from Refiner’s Worship, a band from St. John Apostle & Evangelist Church in Mililani.
This year, the Marianist LIFE has been focusing on “Human Trafficking.” Donations will be accepted during the worship and given to Hoola Na Pua, a local organization that “is committed to the renewal of trafficked girls through health, education, advocacy, and reintegration.”
Del Rosario hopes that people who attend will better understand the concept of a “Praise and Worship” event.
“It shows the importance of faith,” Del Rosario said. “It’s community bonding, where we praise the Lord.”
Everyone is welcome, and admission is free. Light refreshments will be available.
Connected in mind and nervous hearts, three Sacred Hearts Academy students went head-to-head with two high schools for an episode of “It’s Academic Hawaii.”
Hosted by Hawaii News Now’s Billy V, the game-show type program is meant to “be an academic showcase for our public and private high schools, in the hope of bringing the kind of acclaim generally reserved for football heroes to the arena of academic achievement,” according to the official website.
Seniors Janelle Lauronal, Kailanianna Ablog and junior Katherine Christian participated in the competition, testing out their wits alongside students from Kauai High School and Kalani High School.
Each episode features three teams from three different high schools. They answer trivia-type questions to earn points. The team that garners the most points by the end of the show advances to the next level, in the hopes of becoming the overall winner.
Lauronal remembers how her nervousness led her to an invaluable learning experience.
“In the beginning of filming, I was afraid of being judged for not answering correctly or for just being me,” Lauronal said. “As we filmed, though, I learned that we were all making mistakes, and in the end, no one cares that you answered something incorrectly.”
To prepare, the students practiced with flashcards, played the popular game “Jeopardy!” and watched previous episodes of the show.
Lauronal encourages fellow students to participate in the show.
“I think that the school should encourage more students to do this next year,” Lauronal said. “It’s a good experience that doesn’t take up a lot of time in your busy schedule.”
The Academy’s episode, along with other episodes filmed for season six, will air in May on KFVE.
Every year, Sacred Hearts Academy welcomes alumnae back to campus to share about their college experiences. This year, graduates from the class of 2013 to 2016 visited from universities from the east coast, west coast and Hawaii.
More than 40 graduates talked to the different high school divisions; 31 shared their experiences at mainland colleges, while 11 talked about what it is like to go to a college in Hawaii.
Students met with alumnae who graduated the year before them, allowing them to catch up with friends.
“I enjoyed seeing graduates of the Academy and (hearing about) their college journey,” junior Kacey Chong said. “It was nice to see my friends that have already graduated.”
Graduates were asked about the transition from an all-girls high school to a co-ed college. Academy students also asked about the types of struggles graduates have been through.
After the forum, participating alumnae were treated to a brunch in the conference room and given a chance to catch up with their former classmates.
Class of 2016 graduate Kelly Zhang said, “I liked the forum (when I was in high school) because it was helpful. It helped me prepare by having firsthand advice.”
Looking to earn high school and college credits at the same time?
Sacred Hearts Academy offers a dual-credit program with Leeward Community College, in which students can do just that.
The courses available next semester are Introduction to Political Science, Introduction to Psychology, Speech and Chinese.
“Each semester, or three units of an early college course, (yields) one full credit for (a student),” high school counselor Angela Dolan said. This opportunity is available for students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors. However, students must acquire at least a 3.0 GPA to enroll.
“It’s pretty easy; in fact, it’s almost like a regular (high school) class,” said sophomore Maaya Green, who is currently taking Speech 101. Achieving an excellent grade is simple, she said, as long as the student puts in a little extra effort.
“It’s a lot easier than an AP class, in my opinion,” Green said. She highly recommends other students apply to an early college course.
Depending on the course, classes will take place after school on Tuesday and Thursday or after school on Wednesday.
Students interested in enrolling should attend an informational meeting on Feb. 15 in the school’s Collaboration Room.
The junior class held its annual retreat at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Kalihi last week.
It is traditionally an event planned and led by students from the junior class. This is compared to the retreats of other grade levels, which are usually coordinated by the Living In Faith Experience (LIFE) Team.
The theme of this year’s retreat was “Ice Cream for J.O.Y.,” with the acronym “J.O.Y.” representing the phrase, “Jesus, Others, and Yourself.” Students participated in a variety of activities throughout the day, which included playing games, listening to music, providing personal testimonies and creating crafts.
Retreat coordinators and juniors Alana Glaser and Megan Mattison decided to gear the retreat towards self-improvement and reflection, in contrast with the popular retreat theme of strengthening class relationships.
“This is because we feel that our division is already closely knit,” Glaser said, “It was unnecessary for us to participate in extensive bonding activities. Instead, we chose to give our classmates the opportunity to come to understand and appreciate themselves as unique and valuable individuals. Our various activities allowed for inner thought and self-evaluation.”
Mattison had similar hopes for the class to focus on internal development and self reflection.
“My main goal for this retreat was for everyone to learn something new about themselves,” she said. “I wanted people to see that their flaws make them unique and that they can use what God has given them to make the world a better place. I really believe that almost everyone learned something new about themselves or their peers on the retreat.”
Junior Realesse Lumapas enjoyed the supportive ambience of the retreat and thought that it helped to reinforce the key messages of the day.
“There were a lot of great topics touched upon during retreat, such as loving our flaws and strengths,” Lumapas said. “I think everyone really needed to hear those things from, not only the leaders, but fellow classmates as well.”
For junior Katelyn Schmisseur, a new student this semester, the retreat provided her the opportunity for not only inward reflection but also new interpersonal relationships.
“It was really helpful having a retreat on my second day of school because it gave me a chance to meet people,” Schmisseur said. “It was so different than my old school because we would never do anything like this, and if we ever did, nobody would really participate. It was nice to see that the whole grade is comfortable with each other.”
The retreat for the junior class is typically an extended day retreat that ends at about 5 p.m.
President Donald Trump is making good on his campaign promises. Following his inauguration, which drew national attention for its seeming lack of attendants, Trump made quick work of starting on his lengthy agenda as Commander In Chief.He has confirmed to move forward with the development of the Dakota and Keystone XL pipelines.
During his administration, President Barack Obama stopped the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project, which would have run from Canada to Nebraska. While in North Dakota, the Army Corps of Engineers denied the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline late last year, with the support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Both pipelines were said to have major environmental implications and threaten the drinking water of millions of people.
Trump has also signed orders provisioning the pipelines themselves to be built only in the U.S.Trump wants to put a tariff on Mexican imports to pay for the border wall, and the Mexican president wasn’t happy about it.
On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order at the Department of Homeland Security, paving the way for building of the border wall, the construction of which he hopes will ensue “within months.”
To fund this, he proposes a 20 percent import tax on Mexican goods. This recent announcement created tensions between the U.S. and Mexico, causing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel his first meeting with Trump to discuss Republican demands that Mexico pay for the wall.
Also on Wednesday, he ended government funding of sanctuary cities and sites, which do not report undocumented immigrants, and ended the policy of “catch and release,” under which “some immigrants are released from detention, while they await a hearing with an immigration judge,” according to TIME Magazine.He put a freeze on federal hiring.
As part of his “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again,” Trump signed an executive order to freeze government hiring, excluding “military, public safety, and public health,” angering many federal labor unions.
Many are criticizing this controversial move, arguing that it will “(decrease) service quality” of federal services and increase costs for the taxpayer; it forces the government to hire more expensive contractors to complete jobs that civilians previously did.
It is the second of six measures Trump plans to take to “clean up the corruption” in Washington, D.C.Trump plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
One of his first actions in office, completed not more than seven hours after his swearing-in ceremony, Trump signed an executive order for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and plans to replace it. This is pending the confirmation of his Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Trump may not completely change the Act, however. In his meeting with Obama in November, he mentioned that he liked two of its provisions: the ability for young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26 and the prohibition of insurers discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.He has reinstated the Mexico City policy.
Since 1984, the policy, whose provisions allow for government funding of institutions that perform abortions, is one that drifts between annulment and establishment with the changing of presidents. It is usually enacted during Democratic administrations and revoked by Republican ones.
Trump signed the order on Jan. 23, a day after the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, which is traditionally when new presidents take action on the regulation.He has signed an executive order on immigration that elicited strong reactions.
Trump’s most recent executive order blocked the citizens and refugees of seven countries, which are predominantly Muslim, from entering the United States for 90 days: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
In addition, it suspended all refugee admission into the country for 120 days.
Upon its signing, citizens of the seven countries, which included visitors as well as permanent U.S. resident green-card holders, were stopped at airports in the United States and abroad in places such as Cairo and Dubai. Some were sent back overseas and denied entry to the U.S.
This action in particular has sparked a tremendous reaction from the American people, including from Pres. Obama, who has endorsed protests of the executive order. Another vocal opponent of the immigration order was Sally Q. Yates, the acting U.S. attorney general, who was fired “just hours after she defied [Trump].”