The Hawaii Island AJA Veterans Legacy Association presented a $1,000 scholarship to Hilo High School senior Leilani Guerrero for her outstanding academic, co-curricular and extracurricular achievements.
Guerrero was an active member of the Hilo High School Student Council, Oiwi head representative, Aloha Ambassador and KVIKS TV, an organization dedicated to creating digital and broadcast content for the school, and was manager for the Hilo High wrestling, judo and football teams.
She was also a member of the Haili Juniors Volleyball team and a community volunteer with Connect Point Church and the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home.
The scholarship application required an essay describing the significance and role of Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II in one of the following: the 100th Infantry Battalion, Military Intelligence Service or the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Guerrero wrote about the 100th Infantry Battalion and how the veterans’ brave actions during WWII inspired her with their courage and perseverance, which she thinks is their lasting legacy.
Guerrero is the daughter of Lynette and Chris Guerrero. She plans to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the fall to major in Hawaiian studies, Hawaiian language and pre-law. Her career goal is to become a family attorney.
The Hawaii Island AJA Veterans Legacy Association educational scholarships are available to graduating seniors at any Hawaii Island public or private high school.