Laptop Prize Furthers Aspiring Teacher’s Career Goals

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - June 16, 2010
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Jessica Ayau

Five UH Manoa undergraduates recently received brand-new Sony Vaio laptop computers, mp3 players and cameras in honor of their significant service to the campus and community, and secondary education major Jessica Ayau was among the Sony Technology Award recipients.

“As an aspiring teacher, winning this award will allow me to further develop my knowledge about technology so that once I start teaching I can incorporate technology into my own classroom,” said Ayau, a 2005 Waipahu High School grad. “It also will help me with school because the mp3 player has a voice-recording function that I can use to record lectures during class, and the camera will allow me to take video clips that I could possibly use in my classroom as an alternative learning resource.”

The first in her family to pursue a college education, Ayau has interned with the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Community Education Program, Waimea Nature Camp, Kohala Watershed Partnership, Hanauma Bay Education Program and Kamehameha Schools Land Asset Division.

For the past five years she has volunteered with LEGACY (Leadership, Encouragement, Guidance, Alumni, Camp for Youth), run by Waipahu High alumni to build strong student leaders in the school and community.


She also works with Project Dana, which focuses on providing assistance to elderly people who are alone and cannot afford to hire help.

“As a Native Hawaiian, I place great importance on my kupuna because they are the reason for my existence,” Ayau said. “By volunteering with this organization, I have gained skills and knowledge that I will use to teach my future students.”

Sony offered Vaio lap-tops to several colleges and universities, including UH Manoa. Applicants had to maintain a 3.5 GPA, be a member of an under-represented group in higher education, show some level of financial need, be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate in a course of study leading to a degree and contribute significant service to the community and/or campus.

“We are appreciative to Sony for their generous donation and honored to present such an important academic tool to our award winners,” said vice chancellor for students Francisco J. Hernandez.

“Winning this award means that I don’t have to worry about getting money together to buy a new laptop now,” Ayau added.

“It also means that I can give my old laptop to my mom who can learn how to use it, which means that I will have a chance to practice my teaching skills and teach her.”

Other student award winners were Luke Dumaran (elementary education), Rebecca Fonoimoana (natural resources and environmental management), Filipe Palma (architecture) and Jovana Shigetani (nursing).

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