Four Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society scholars from University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges have been recognized for their academic excellence and dedication to support their local communities. Their hard work garnered them scholarships and awards to further pursue their passions and achieve their goals.
For more than 100 years, PTK has helped millions of high-achieving community college students reach their full potential. PTK gives students opportunities to develop professional and leadership skills, earn scholarships, explore career paths—and make their worlds a lot bigger.
Tessah Carreira, has been named a 2023 Coca-Cola New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar and will receive a $2,250 scholarship. Only one scholar is selected from each state. Out of more than 2,400 applications received for the All-USA Academic Team competition, Carreira was the top scoring student from Hawaiʻi.
Carreira is a recent Hawaiʻi Community College liberal arts and human services graduate and member of the Alpha Psi Epsilon Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in public administration from UH West Oʻahu.
In the future, she hopes to open up her own counseling office for family and children going through the court system. She enjoys spending time with her family and taking them on adventures.
Kaʻimipono Drumright from Honolulu Community College was named the 2023 Coca-Cola New Century Workforce Scholar. Drumright has earned a $1,250 scholarship from PTK.
Born and raised in Winters, California, Drumright moved to Hawaiʻi following his high school graduation in 2014 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in exercise science at Brigham Young University of Hawaiʻi. After completing his bachelor’s, Drumright began his journey toward becoming a firefighter in the Honolulu Fire Department. It was on that journey that he learned about the Honolulu CC fire science program.
With the benefits and training of this program, Drumright is now in the employment process with the Honolulu Fire Department. He could not have made it this far without the helping hands and pilina (relationship, connection) of his Honolulu CC ʻohana.
Samantha Pinera from Hawaiʻi CC earned a $1,000 Pacific Region Transfer scholarship. Pinera plans to major in biology and hopes to one day become a pediatrician. She has many areas of interest: molecular cell biology, immunology and virology and ethnobotany. She especially has an interest in medicinal plants and possible applications in treating and caring for new generations. She plans to transfer to UH Mānoa.
Pinera previously served as the vice president of public relations for her PTK chapter. She helped with membership meetings and planning events, and was primarily responsible for the content and distribution of the chapter’s monthly newsletter.
Additionally, she participated in academic research on the project, “Discover the Microbes Within: The Wolbachia Project.” Pinera hopes to provide beneficial data for the Wolbachia project to produce more information to advance gene editing and technology.
Maria Pou from Kapiʻolani Community College earned a $1,000 Pacific Region Transfer Scholarship and plans to transfer to UH West Oʻahu to major in English. She is a staff writer at the student newspaper and recently interned as a communications and branding assistant at International Justice Mission, a global nonprofit.
Her recommender wrote, “Maria has the perseverance to achieve results. She has labored hard throughout her undergraduate studies, excelling in anything she puts her mind towards. Maria’s ability to work hard inside and outside of the classroom underscores how well balanced and mature she is… Maria is the quality of student that enhances our community.”
Pou is an active volunteer—she has worked with the Ecology Club for a campus clean-up; with the North Shore Christian Fellowship as a preschool teacher; and with Loaves & Fishes where she serves food once a month.