Shayna Hokama

Educational Studies sophomore plans on following her parents into the family industry—education.

Shayna Hokama performs with the Hawaii Club
on the Matt Knight Arena court during a
basketball game.

When you’re planning on entering a profession that once included Albert Einstein, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Anne Sullivan, you know you’re following in some seriously impressive footsteps.

For Shayna Hokama, UO sophomore and recipient of the UOAA Hawaii Chapter’s Duane Cargill Memorial Scholarship, the first step will be to just follow in her parents’ footsteps—theoretical physics, sociology, and working miracles can wait.

The daughter of a school counselor and a physical education teacher, Shayna is majoring in Educational Studies and minoring in Business Administration at the UO, and plans on becoming first an elementary school teacher, and later a school administrator.

But the young Hawaiian isn’t waiting until after graduation to make a difference in the classroom though—her resume already includes stints in classrooms in Hawaii and Eugene.

“I volunteered a lot with other elementary teachers when I was in middle school and high school,” said Hokama. “I did small grading here and there, and walked around and helped the kids.

“I was [at Edison Elementary in Eugene] for the spring term. I was taking classes that allow you to go to a school and help out a teacher. I really liked it, so I tried to go as much as I could. I helped kids a lot with their reading and math, and I helped out the teacher by passing out papers or helping with their daily work.”

Hokama is making the most of her time in Eugene, and is the Co-Fundraising Chair for the UO’s Hawaii Club. Through shaved ice stands in Hawaii and pot lucks in Eugene, Hokama helps the club raise the money needed to fund activities so Hawaiian students at the UO can fully experience everything their new state has to offer.

“We go on a coast trip and a ski trip to bring our club closer,” she said. “A lot of Hawaiian kids have never seen snow in their lives, so the ski trip is a really big one. We also have a luau at the end of each year.

“[Our ski trip] was at Mt. Bachelor. It was so much fun. I’d only skied once before, but it was a cool experience. A lot of my friends were freaking out because they’d never seen snow. It was a really good experience, and I got to spend it with a lot of my friends.”

But Hokama, who chose the UO because it offered “the whole college experience,” may never have had the opportunity to “freak out” in the snow with new friends were it not for the scholarship offered by the Hawaii Ducks. The Aloha State’s UOAA chapter, currently gearing up for its annual Ducks on the Beach reception and auction, awards scholarships to four students each year, and Hokama credits the scholarship with giving her the ability to maximize her college experience.

“I was so happy when I received the scholarship,” she said. “It was a huge relief, knowing that I have more room to do more things. It’s not as much stress for my family; I can take classes that I want to take.”