Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation awards 11 Hawaii Island Students with scholarships

The Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation Inc. recently awarded scholarships to 11 Hawaii Island high school seniors in its annual Legacy Scholarship program.

Zea Levine from Kealakehe High School received a $5,000 District Finalist scholarship. Kari Yoahiyama from Hilo High School was awarded the Mildred Higashi Director’s Scholarship of $2,000. Nine other seniors from Hawaii Island schools each received $2,000 scholarships in recognition of their strong academic achievements and commitment to their community.


The students were among 62 recipients, one from each qualifying public and independent school in the state, who received scholarships based on academic achievement, community service and financial need. In total, the foundation awarded $176,000 to students throughout the state in its Legacy Scholarship Program this year.

“Mr. and Mrs. Takitani founded Hawaiian Host, and knew hard work, innovation and commitment to excellence were key factors in their success,” said KSSK Radio personality Michael W. Perry, Takitani Foundation board chairman. “The Takitanis wanted to recognize those same qualities in Hawaii’s outstanding students with support to further their education.”

Levine is the daughter of Krista Olson and Barry Levine, and will be attending Colorado College in the fall. She represented her school in the Hawaii State WorldQuest competition, receiving a perfect score in her section focused on the World Trade Organization. In her sophomore year, Levine was named a Lowenstine Honors Scholar, and earned a full scholarship to attend an advanced environmental science semester program. She also performed in more than 15 shows with Aloha Theatre and Aloha Teen Theatre, and has done improv with the Aloha-has group.

Yoshiyama is the daughter of Joanne and Lance Yoshiyama, and a member of the Hawaii State Student Council, serving as the HSSC historian and chairperson, where she used her voice to offer suggestions to the state Department of Education.

Award recipients of $2,000 from public schools in the Hawaii School District are Daycie De Luz of Honokaa High and Intermediate School, David Freund of Keaau High School, Kassie Tarpley of Kohala High School, Cyrus Jumalon of Konawaena High School, Harvey Tagalicud of Pahoa High and Intermediate School and Mina Poppas of Waiakea High School.


The Takitani award recipients of $2,000 for the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools from the Big Island are Lealia Haitsuka of Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Ho‘onani McClung of Kamehameha Schools Hawaii and Maya Ellsworth of Parker School.

Mamoru and Aiko Takitani founded Hawaiian Host Inc., manufacturer of Hawaiian Host chocolates, and established the Takitani Foundation to give back to the community by providing the gift of education to the young people of Hawaii.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email