My name is Haunani which means Beautiful Snow in Hawaiian. My twin sister, Kaunani, was born one minute before me. The fact that two beautiful baby girls were born healthy was a miracle. You see, we were free of the disease that our Mother carried--HIV.
HIV/AIDS consumed our birth mother who was not the best role model. I spent the first three years with her before she passed away. My mom’s family didn’t want me or my sister. This has been very painful, and the omnipresent feeling of abandonment followed me throughout my childhood.
Then one day, I evaluated my situation in life. I figured that I went through all those trials and challenges for a reason. And even though I can’t change the past situation, I knew that I could change someone else’s situation in life. This is where my journey began. I had chosen success as my goal.
As I worked to achieve this goal, I chose to participate in the JAG program at my high school because I had heard many success stories. I really like how JAG helps and encourages students to graduate and succeed in their goals. I know for a fact that the fundamentals that JAG teaches will improve my performance in the future.
I have chosen to go to college in New Zealand because it is less expensive than in the United States, and because a Bachelor’s Degree can be completed in 3 years. The faster I can acquire a degree, the faster I can join the Peace Corps and make a difference in other people’s lives. Whether it’s building houses in Ethiopia, or teaching children to read English in Sudan, I know that I will make a difference.