I was born and raised on the 9th Island of Hawaii. Las Vegas has come to be informally known as the ninth Island because it boasts the largest population of Hawaiians outside of Hawaii. In this instance, a Hawaiian is loosely defined as a person who resided in Hawaii. In my case, the distinction of being Hawaiian is more specific. I am of native Hawaiian descent, a lineal descendant of those who inhabited Hawaii prior to foreign contact. Being so, I am officially registered with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Hawaiian Registry Program and recognized as such.
My full name is Jared Kainalu Miao, and one of the first things one notices about me is my deep, dark tan. My tan is earned not only journeying on my trail to becoming an Eagle Scout, but swimming outdoors six days per week on my club swim team. My efforts have earned me my school’s record in the 100 breaststroke and first and second place finishes at States. But if you come to a swim meet in January, long after everyone else has lost their summer tans, you will know me, as I will be the one on the starting blocks still tan in my Speedo, thanks to my native Hawaiian DNA.
My Hawaiian ancestry comes from my mother. In my maternal Grandmother’s time, it was shameful to be Hawaiian. The missionaries brought language, writing, and ways unfamiliar to the natives. Hawaiians were often uneducated by their standards and therefore unemployed. Like many aboriginal populations after being “discovered”, the native Hawaiian population fell prey to poverty, crime, and alcohol. In her time, she was taught to hide her Hawaiian ancestry, never publicly acknowledging her heritage for fear of negative repercussions.
In my mother’s time, attitudes began to shift and there was a resurgence of Hawaiian pride. Suddenly it was popular and preferable to be Hawaiian. It was important to my mother that I learn about my Hawaiian heritage beyond just visiting the islands. I have spent summers attending Hawaiian immersion programs at Kamehameha on Oahu and Maui. We were taught Hawaiian culture, history, and language, to work and respect the land by helping to care for the taro fields, learning Hawaiian songs, games, and stories. Because of these experiences, I deeply understand the emotions involved surrounding the current opposition to the continued development of a new telescope observatory happening on Mauna Kea. To Native Hawaiians, Mauna Kea is a sacred site, home to endangered species, cultural and historic resources, and ancient burial grounds. The objection has nothing to do with science, but rather the further desecration of this site and the ramifications that a significant increase in the footprint of activities will inevitably bring to a fragile ecosystem.
My interest in architecture and my affection for nature gained through scouting and spending time in Hawaii has led me to ask myself what I would do if I was requested to work on the Mauna Kea project. I wish to be a proponent for green building, using sustainable materials and resources, and being at the forefront of innovative design and solutions to problems that affect us locally and globally. I hope to make a living using my creativity to promote and inspire green building. The current situation happening on Mauna Kea teaches me to live frugally within my means so I can always have the option to say no. I am confident that my passion and what is in my heart will always prevail over monetary gain. My goals for the future are not driven by financial success. Rather, I wish to leave physical legacies on earth that I can be proud of, or similarly be able to choose not to leave a twelve story legacy on a sacred mountain…a decision I can also be proud of.
I have already been accepted to the UNLV architecture program and the UH Manoa school of architecture and will be applying to some schools in California as well. Where I go will be determined by financial cost, including whatever scholarships I may receive. I know that whatever school I choose will be costly, as architecture is a minimum five year commitment for an accredited program. Any help in reducing cost will aid in helping me to reach my goal without significant student debt.
CCSD seniors who have a minimum 2.5 GPA and plan to attend an accredited post-secondary college or university may apply for this scholarship.
Preference will be given (but not required) to Hawaiian/part Hawaiian students and dependents of members of the Hawaiian Civic Club.
Student must attend the college/university full-time by taking a minimum of twelve credit hours per semester.
One scholarship in the amount of $500 will be offered. The application end date was January 31, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Verification of college enrollment (class schedule) will be required during the summer before check is mailed to the college. Scholarship funds
must be applied toward tuition, fees and other appropriate educational expenses. These funds will be disbursed in equal payments over two
The 2020 application is now Closed
See below for the 2020 winner!
Contact LVHCC for additional information on Scholarships
Ho'omaika'i 'ana ia 'oe to Jared Miao, Coronado High School, our 2020 Founder's Scholarship winner! He will be attending UNLV; see his winning essay below