Nakamura, a 2017 graduate of Waiākea High School, is pursuing a bachelor of arts in English with a minor in performing arts and a certificate in educational studies. She has won many scholarship awards, including the UH Board of Regents Presidential Scholarship and others from the East Hawaiʻi Hiroshima Kenjin Kai, Kiwanis Cal-Nev-Ha Foundation, Takitani Foundation, Big Island Federal Credit Union, Hui Makaala and Zonta Club of Hilo.
After graduation, Nakamura plans to attend graduate school for advanced degrees in teaching and dance. She hopes to become an English college professor and open her own dance studio.
She says her interests in both English and the performing arts “enable a sense of creativity that could have been lost if not for the freedom and innovation that the two provide. Both bring out a level of diligence and imagination that makes me a better student, choreographer and teacher.”
The recipient of the Matthew S. Therrien Memorial Award must be an English major and demonstrate academic merit with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The awardee must also have demonstrated excellence in writing, preferably through published work.