At the age of twelve, Stacy Sproat left her home on the north shore of Kauai to attend Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu and subsequently, the University of Southern California. Yet while she left for education, she always knew that she wanted to come home. As a child, she’d worked on the family farm, swam in the mountain streams, surfed the waves at Kalihiwai and lived with people who took care of each other. As an adult, she moved back home to care for the land and to instill the values in those around her that she had grown up with.
Benny Rietveld’s first experience playing music was at the age of six, in the piano department at Gem’s in Kapalama. “I liked the idea that you could press something, and it creates this…cool sound,” Rietveld remembers. He was mentored by band director Henry Miyamura at McKinley High School, and played in local jazz and rock bands before moving to San Francisco and touring with Sheila E. and Miles Davis. Today, Benny Rietveld plays bass for Carlos Santana, and still sits in with the Hawai‘i musicians he grew up with.
Princess Johnson, Creative Producer of the PBS KIDS series Molly of Denali, didn’t know that life would lead her to producing a curriculum-based animated series. Yet with a master’s degree in education and a background in performing arts, Johnson, an Alaskan native from the Neets’aii Gwich’in tribe, was armed with the right combination of skills and training to do just that.
Born without arms and legs, inspirational speaker Nick Vujicic has never experienced the warmth of wrapping his arms around someone and hugging them. Yet he once held the record for the number of hugs in an hour. That’s Nick Vujicic — he always feels that “you can, you will.”
James Kauahikaua has witnessed some of the planet’s most awe-inspiring spectacles as a geophysicist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Hawai‘i Island. While his research frequently leads him dangerously close to molten hot magma, a dire cancer diagnosis may have been his most humbling encounter yet.
On this Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, we hear from Nona Beamer, or Aunty Nona as she was fondly called. Aunty Nona was an educator, author, hula dancer and a champion of Hawaiian culture, known for her integrity, scholarship and love.
Hear from Alice Inoue, the founder of Happiness U, as she reflects on how her curiosity and entrepreneurial nature led her on an untraditional path to her current position of helping others find their life’s purpose.
For three years, Takeshi Yoshihara and his family lived in two small cubicles in a Japanese American internment camp. The experience, while traumatic for the young Takeshi and his family, did not leave him bitter. This Nisei would grow up to be the first Japanese American appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, and he enjoyed a long military career. Yoshihara talks about what made him an unlikely Naval Academy candidate, and his journey through the ranks and, eventually, to Hawaiʻi.
Learn how John Morgan, president of the 4,000-acre Kualoa Ranch on Windward Oʻahu, diversified business by opening up the lands to recreational tour activities and to movie crews from blockbuster films like Jurassic Park and Jumanji.
Strength and grit were the two values that Lois Kim’s Korean American parents instilled in her from an early age. But when tragedy struck, she turned to drugs, which took her down a dark path that resulted in prison time. She’s since served her time, and is now using the power of storytelling to share her exploration of vulnerability – and a new source of strength.
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