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Seven Sacred Hearts Academy juniors and sophomores in the current Spanish III Honors class were inducted into “La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (SHH),” or the National Spanish Honor Society, on May 8.
The Academy’s chapter of SHH, “Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz,” inducts new members each year, traditionally Spanish III or Spanish III Honors students.
The induction was led by AP Spanish and Spanish V students, who presided over a candle-lighting ceremony to initiate the new members
The goal of the society is to promote the learning and development of the Spanish language in the Academy community, taking on tasks such as arranging cultural days and working as tutors for other Spanish students.
Junior Taylor Victoria Rayray, who was inducted on Monday, is excited and hopeful for her future with the language.
“I wanted to be in the Spanish Honor Society because my membership will help motivate me to involve myself more with the Spanish language, heritage and culture. In learning a new language, there are so many more opportunities, academically and socially, and I feel like being a member of the Spanish Honor Society will me to strive for those new learning opportunities,” Rayray said.
SHH challenges its members academically and socially to integrate the Spanish language and culture into daily school life.
“To me, being inducted into SHH meant that I had an academic responsibility to push myself to strive to learn more,” Rayray said. “Not only to go after what I know, but to learn the Spanish language, to integrate myself in their culture and heritage, then to share it with the world.”
Upon their initiation, the new inductees celebrated with returning SHH members with a potluck that brought smiles to all.
Decked out in elaborate costumes and cheerful dispositions, members of the Lancer community flocked the Hawaii Convention Center to attend the 13th Annual Kawaii Kon.
Kawaii Kon is a three-day event celebrating “Japanese anime (cartoons), manga (comics), and all facets of Japanese culture,” as detailed on its official website. It attracts many Japan enthusiasts from around the island, creating a “safe place for otaku,” or people with an affinity for popular culture, “to meet, socialize, and enjoy themselves.”
Sacred Hearts Academy senior and anime enthusiast Adriana Choi enjoyed this year’s Kon. She dressed up in cosplay, or “costume play,” with her friends.
“Kawaii Kon this year was really fun,” Choi said. “I cosplayed as Maki Nishikino from ‘Love Live!’ with my friends, who also cosplayed from the same series.”
Kawaii Kon attendees were able to purchase homemade and official anime merchandise and participate in a plethora of activities, including cosplay and video game competitions, panels and meet-and-greets with the convention’s special guests.
This year, the convention welcomed popular voice actors, such as Dante Basco, the voice behind Prince Zuko from “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” David Vincent, known for voicing Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez from the anime “Bleach,” and Zach Callison, the voice of “Steven Universe’s” titular character were also there.
Musicians, such as Hanafugetsu and Joe Inoue, were in attendance as well.
Choi said that Kawaii Kon is a great place for otakus to visit.
“It’s a great event to socialize with other people (who have) the same interest as you.”
Next year’s Kawaii Kon will be held from March 2 to 4, 2018 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Those interested in purchasing a three-day membership may do so online or at the door during the duration of the convention.
More than 98 high school students received scholarships at Sacred Hearts Academy’s annual Scholarship Award Ceremony last week.
Students are granted scholarships based on financial need, as well as meeting specific criteria determined by each scholarship. According to the school, donors are those who believe in the Academy’s mission to offer an outstanding education to the young women of the 21st century.
“Getting a scholarship was really a blessing, and knowing I have standards to uphold, motivates me to do my best in school,” said sophomore Xavier Downey-Silva, who received the PWH Foundation & Augustine Educational Foundation Scholarship.
The event served as an opportunity for scholarship recipients to thank their donors and respective organizations.
Commencing with a speech by Head of School Betty White and a performance by the school’s Glee Club, the event of about 300 attendees began on a spirited note. The scholarship awardees were then called to the stage to give a lei to a representative of their respective scholarship organizations.
Some of the organizations that donated included Arcadia Foundation, Bank of Hawaii and Bow Engineering. Scholarships were also made possible by the previous classes of 1946, 1952 and 2003.
The students receiving scholarships expressed their gratitude to their donors, as they gathered in the gazebo area for light refreshments after the program.
“We hope that the students realize that there are a lot of people who believe in the outstanding education and values that Sacred Hearts Academy instills in its students,” said Director of Almunae Affairs Tiffany Kiyabu Nishimura.
Kiyabu Nishimura, along with Director of Student Activities Cleo Eubanks, were the emcees of the event.
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.”