“I was born and raised in Hawaii. My parents split up while I was in elementary school. Before going into high school, my mom decided to pack it up and move us all to the continent because Hawaii is just not affordable for a single mom with two growing boys.
“My mom worked three jobs: serving, construction and bartender. That still wasn’t enough. We soon found ourselves in Nashville, Tennessee, to where her cousin had relocated a few years before. After three years, our family of three moved to the Pacific Northwest to join my mother’s brother, who had also had recently left Hawaii for financial reasons.
“Our family has made the best of what we had, and built what we could for the Hawaiian community in the Pacific Northwest, with a hula halau and a Hawaiian/Polynesian nonprofit foundation. I am now a father with my own family.”