Leadership Development Through Community Service


Hawaii Jaycees Recognizes Three Outstanding Leaders


Three Outstanding Young Persons’ Honored in Hawaii

by Rebecca Soon

On the evening of October 18, 2008, over 100 people gathered in a beautiful ballroom in Waikiki to celebrate the incredible work of eight young individuals in their dedication to Hawaii’s community. Representing a wide span of age and ethnic backgrounds, with professional experiences including public relations, banking, retail, nonprofit, healthcare, and education, the eight finalists of the Three Outstanding Young Persons’ Award (TOYP) each had in common that they represented the Jaycee belief that, “Service to humanity is the best work of life.”

Hosted by the Rising Phoenix Jaycees, TOYP Hawaii was held at Prince Kuhio, including a lovely evening of food, silent auction, entertainment, and fellowship. Keynote speaker, Christina Kemmer, CEO of Communications Pacific, spoke eloquently of servant leadership and the lifelong pathway to peace and peacemaking. Finalists were recognized for their dedication and excellence to community leadership, and the three honorees were recognized with a TOYP Award and $500 donation to a charity of their choice. The three honorees included: Shelley Wilson, Founder and CEO of Wilson Homecare, Brian Kajiyama, UH Team Manager and Motivational Speaker and Author for persons with disabilities, and Kekoa McClellan, Community Advocate and Commercial Banking Officer at Central Pacific Bank. Donations were made to Shriner’s Hospital, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, and Easter Seals Hawaii.

Now in it’s 37th year, the Hawaii State Jaycees’ Annual Three Outstanding Young Persons’ Award accepted nominations from community members for individuals aged 18-40, who excelled in multiple areas, including: community service, professional accomplishments, legal acumen, political aspirations, and 10 other areas. Each of the nominees went through an initial process of application review and 8 finalists were interviewed by a panel of judges before narrowing down to the final three honorees. These finalists included: Ashlee Chung, Augie Tulba, Brandon Baniaga, Eric Batalon, and Michael Miyashiro.

This year’s Project Coordinator, Rebecca Soon, shared, “TOYP is such a remarkable award, of which I was honored to be a part. This year’s honorees truly exemplified servant leadership and the amazing impact that individuals can have on our community. They inspire me. They inspire our generation. And they inspire our community.” Sponsors for TOYP 2009 are now being accepted, and nominations will open in Summer 2009. For more information, please visit www.toyphawaii.com.