Miss Hawaiʻi Teen Volunteer developed a platform at UH West Oʻahu

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UH West O'ahu senior Emalia Pomaialoha Dalire was crowned Miss Hawaii Teen Volunteer in December. (Image courtesy of Mark Salondaka)

As miss Hawaii Teen volunteer 2024, University of Hawaii-West O'ahu Student Emalia Pomaialoha Dalire encourages young people to be the best version of themselves: if they know who they are and where they come from, they will have the confidence to achieve anything.

Dalire, far left, and Kinsler with Miss Hawaii Volunteer directors Larry Nakano and Tony Alcosiba. (Image courtesy of Mark Salondaka)

The 18 year old Kane'ohe the resident was crowned by the Miss Hawaii Volunteer scholarship program in December 2023. Dalire has been dancing hula since the age of two in her family's hālau, Keolalaulani Hālau 'Olapa O Laka. She is the daughter of Miss Aloha Hula 1999, Kumu Hula Keolalaulani Dalire, and the granddaughter of the first and only Miss Hula, Aloha Dalire.

“I wanted to introduce myself to Miss Hawaii Teen Volunteer because of my haumana (students) in my hālau,” Dalire said. “Working with hundreds of children inside and outside of Hawaii, my greatest joy comes from seeing these children become distinguished individuals thanks to their culture. Being at the forefront of their learning and growth has shown me that I have the power to make a difference, not only in my classroom but also in my community.

Perseverance paid off

Dalire, on the left, with Miss Hawaii Volunteer Makenna Kinsler at the Miss Volunteer America pageant in March in Tennessee. (Image provided by Emalia Pomaialoha Dalire)

As a freshman at Damien Memorial School, Dalire also began attending Windward Community College, taking classes in high school and early college simultaneously. Dual enrollment allowed him to graduate from high school a year early in 2022, at age 16, and earn two associate's degrees and three certificates of completion from Windward. CC that same year.

Now senior at UH West O'ahuDalire is majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing and is on track to graduate with his bachelor’s degree this fall.

“The teachers and nā kumu (teachers) have been extremely understanding and helpful in my journey as Miss Hawaii Teenager volunteer,” Dalire said. “I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank one of my professors, who helped me shape the “why” of my platform. The purpose of creating my initiative was to tell others what I wish someone had said to me: “You are enough. »

Both Dalire and his mother were students of Edward Keaunui, a UH West O'ahu professor of business administration and coordinator of risk management and insurance, who also assisted Dalire as an interview coach.

“Her perseverance, tenacity and hard work are what got her the crown for this competition,” Keaunui said.

Official photo of Dalire for Miss Teen Volunteer America. (Image courtesy of Keolalaulani Dalire)

Empower your students

Dalire is currently a youth mentor at a non-profit organization called Laulani, which seeks to inspire and teach children, through cultural preservation, to embrace their uniqueness and learn life lessons through the preservation of culture. Hawaiithe culture and traditions of .

“I built my platform from a young age by instilling vital and empowering life lessons in my students, hoping to set them on a path to success,” she said. “Like miss Hawaii Teen Volunteer, I continue to do it in my class and in my community.

Learn more about Ka Puna o Kalo'i.

By Zenaida Serrano Arvman

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