“I was born in Kahuku and raised in Hauula. I lived in Hawaii for about 26 years. It was a hard decision to move out of Hawaii because Hawaii was all I knew.

“I would have stayed in my family’s place but it already had three families living in it. My thinking was, ‘If I want to live in Hawaii, I need to leave Hawaii.’ I bet 99 percent of locals’ main struggle is money. So my plan was to leave Hawaii, be successful and have a career that earns enough to live in Hawaii comfortably.

“I feel like Hawaii is an amazing place to grow as a child. But if you don’t have a steady job and you are just starting out as a family, it will be a struggle far beyond what people can imagine. Even the best of people that I know with great willpower to work and live in Hawaii have ended up leaving. I do wish to come back to let my kids grow up in an ‘aloha-spirit atmosphere.’”

Michael Cheney
Bountiful, Utah