Personal Narrative: A Career In Hawaii

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As part of my networking, there are some high school classmates who I am in constant contact with. We all went to college and have our own careers in different fields. One of these friends allowed me to live with her for my first year out of college. Four of us played volleyball together. They are from Waianae, Kaneohe, and Waimanalo and they?re Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Japanese. Over the years, we realized we get our strength from our diversity. When we have a problem, we reach out to each other to get different perspectives on the issue. This has served us well for decades.
In addition to her peers from high school, this participant also has several peers from college who have supported her along her journey. She describes this as her
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Another participant shared how her race has always influenced her desire to give back and to make a difference, some of which will be expanded upon more in the Social Justice chapter next.
I am proud to be Hawaiian and I want to do what I can for my Hawaii. That?s the biggest way that my race has influenced my career path. I didn?t make a path to be in my current position, even though it existed, I just wanted to do my best for my Hawaii really. That?s where it all came from. And I think that?s why I went from private into government because that?s helping out my community on a much broader basis. I get much more meaning that way. What I need to be doing is helping out my community.
A third participant explained the impact that race had on her leadership development and ultimately why she chose her current career path.
I chose this career path because I am Native Hawaiian and I wanted to make sure that my priority was on Native Hawaiian students. Because of my blood quantum, I wanted to make sure that my work in higher education was focused on financial aid and making sure that Native Hawaiian students get to college. My race influenced my role in working with low income, first generation students.

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