By Sean Sugai PCHS 2019
Hello everyone! This post is about the PCHS Alumni Association, and I want to share my motivations behind its creation. With the help of all PCHS alumni, it is my genuine hope that we can steer this organization in a direction that can incite change that spans generations. Please continue reading if you are interested.
By way of introduction, my name is Sean Sugai, and I graduated from Pearl City High School in 2019. Finishing off my first year in college, I reflected on all my experiences so far, recalling moments of happiness and excitement, but also of the times where I felt inadequate and in over my head. I frequently spent a large portion of my time studying and playing catch up while my peers, people who were the same age as me, felt unchallenged by the rigor of college. This is not to say they did not struggle–I am not speaking on their behalf–but to me, I somehow felt years behind them. When asked how they understood a concept with ease, their answers tended to stem from years of preparation from their high school. This was not an isolated incident, and I soon learned that many of my peers had resources in high school that prepared them for college, which subsequently drove me to want to help current students as an alumnus of PCHS.
To me, the PCHS Alumni Association will allow current students to learn more about how they can use their four years in high school to prepare them for college rigor, and in turn, to learn more about their passions and what drives them. This will encompass matching students with an alumnus/alumna who has/currently attends a specific university or is in a career field that interests that student. Additionally, this alumni network will not only serve to promote higher education, but also career preparedness, as students can learn more about the workforce or the military through the many alumni in that field today.
Together, we can usher in a new approach to life after high school and welcome in new opportunities for alumni to come back to Pearl City and help the current students in ways that we knew we needed. I urge each alumnus/alumna to think back to their time at Pearl City High School and recall what they would have liked to see or how the school could have done more for us. Being a part of the PCHS Alumni Association will give all of us the chance to pay it forward for the current students and to ensure that they will not have to jump through the same hurdles that impeded our success after graduating. As alumni, we are in a unique position to guide, reassure, and uplift the current students, allowing them to explore their passions more productively and insightfully.
In addition to mentoring students, the PCHS Alumni Association plans to offer the "PCHS Alumni Scholarship," which will provide a more equitable opportunity for students who want to attend a two or four-year institution or a trade/vocational school. Affording college is always a taxing and contentious topic for many families, but through this scholarship, we can take some of that burden off of students' shoulders. As a community, we can transform the college conversation from questioning if a student can afford college to wondering if a student can get into college. As a student, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow as an individual through my undergrad experiences, and it is my hope that PCHS students will have that same opportunity if they choose to attend college.
To all my PCHS Alumni, please consider joining this up and coming association that has the potential to transform the idea of life after high school for current students. Whether a student chooses to go to college, enter the workforce, or enlist into the military, that decision should be an informed one that is rooted with solid experiences and a genuine passion. We have the experience, capabilities, and opportunity to stimulate real change for these students, but we can only achieve that together.
If you are interested in joining, please click on this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScbwIcT_wP4QiytqO1nJ1LmQu5sULBbWVPqqY-GrUabPWTETg/viewform
If you want to stay connected with other alumni, please join our Facebook Group: Pearl City High School Alumni Association
If you want more information, attached below is our mission statement on how we plan to integrate these ideas into the coming school year.
If you know an alumnus/alumna who is also interested, please share this post with them and please urge them join. Only together can we ensure an equitable opportunity for generations of PCHS students to come, and we need everyone's help in accomplishing that dream.
Lastly, if you have any questions/concerns/have a specific idea for this association, please message me directly and we can discuss next steps. The PCHS Alumni Association aims to become medium through which alumni can enact change they wished they saw in high school, so any ideas are welcome!
Thank you all for hearing me out, and please stay safe and healthy!