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About 130 high school college/guidance counselors from across the state attended a September workshop hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Office of Admissions. The counselors play a pivotal role in guiding local high school students on their higher education options including UH ʻs flagship campus, which is among the best universities in the nation and world.

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The admissions office has been holding the annual High School Counselors Workshop for more than 30 years, continually refreshing the event to support the evolving needs of counselors. This year’s workshop, held in the newly renovated Campus Center Ballroom, was back in-person after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was held virtually in 2020 and 2021.

“It’s so nice to be back on campus and connect with other colleagues. This workshop does such a great job of keeping us abreast of updates and program offerings which helps us when we work with our students,” said Kayleen Akana, a Waipahu High School counselor who has been attending the High School Counselors Workshop for nine years.

The workshop included breakout sessions that covered UH admissions updates, scholarship opportunities at UH Mānoa, financial aid services, Mānoa Access Initiative, planting seeds for student access and success, the Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Pathways, Study Abroad Programs, College Opportunities Programs and more. Counselors also had the chance to go on select departmental campus tours.

“We are so excited to welcome our counselors back on campus and really engage with them to find out how we can better support them as our recruitment allies,” said UH Mānoa Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Nikki Chun. “We would not be able to be successful without their help and support. The High School Counselors Workshop provides a great opportunity to hear first-hand about UH Mānoa’s academic programs and student services.”

Regan Honda, a Farrington High School counselor couldn’t agree more. “I look forward to attending the High School Counselors Workshop every year so I can get updates on UH Mānoa. It’s a fun, festive event where I enjoy the camaraderie of my colleagues. UH Mānoa always treats us so well.” Honda has been a regular attendee at the workshop for 14 years.

Longtime counselor honored

Randy Fong, a guidance counselor at Sacred Hearts Academy for 23 years, retired in May 2022. As a token of appreciation for his years of commitment, Wong, an avid Rainbow Warriors football fan, was presented an autographed football from Head Coach Timmy Chang in a surprise appearance.

“Thank you Coach Chang for coming here, this makes my day! This makes my day,” said Fong.

“Thank you Randy for your service and appreciate you being a fan for the UH Warrior team, and all the best to you,” said Chang.

Chang also took the time to commend the high school counselors in attendance.

“You guys don’t know how much you guys mean to me and my family because I come from a family of educators. My father Levi, my sister Leigh Ann, and what you guys do, you guys impact the children now, of our state,” said Chang. “I love what the university is doing in holding this workshop. Itʻs kinda what Iʻm doing with the football team and with the community and building the school is that I really want the brightest and best athletes to come to our university and represent us, represent our state and how important you guys are in that role is huge.”

The UH Mānoa Office of Admissions offers events created specifically for the prospective student and related audiences year-round. To learn more, go to the admissions website.

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