top of page
Artboard 1@2x.png

Aloha & Talofa,

From my "small kid days" in Kalihi to my time serving in Washington, D.C., and of course during my years as the 12th Mayor of the City & County of Honolulu, I have dedicated my career to helping others.

My parents raised me to follow the admonition of the Good Book, "to whom much is given, much is required." They taught their children that we should always look to express our appreciation for the many blessings in our lives by serving our community.

That's why I'm so pleased to continue my tradition of giving the Gustav Hannemann and Faiaso Soliai Hannemann Leadership Awards and the Mufi Hannemann Scholar-Athlete Awards. This is the 27th year that we are honoring the youth of Hawaiʻi and we are very pleased that many of our past recipients have gone on to distinguish themselves in a variety of professional fields and have also made notable contributions to the betterment of our island home.

Please scroll down to see this year's honorees, and join me in congratulating them for their accomplishments!


As a proud alumnus of Harvard University, it gives me great pride to recognize outstanding high school juniors around the state by presenting them with the Harvard Book Award. I have carried the tradition of presenting this prestigious award for several decades and I constantly find myself impressed by the caliber of extraordinary youth in our state. These students are not only outstanding academically but have also demonstrated high character and achievement in various other fields which is why they were chosen by their schools to receive this award.


This school year, I was honored to recognize the following students with the Harvard Book Award:

Click on the gallery above to view the photos of this year's Harvard Book Award recipients

  • Amy Dennis, Aiea High School

  • Tiffany Kaixuan Liu, Campbell High School

  • Nichole Bondocoy, Damien High School

  • Rhapsody Espiritu, Farrington High School

  • Maya Oishi, Hilo High School

  • John Vierra Jr., ‘Iolani School

  • Madison Mizon, Island Pacific Academy

  • Chaselyn Lee, Kahuku High School

  • Madeline Tamura, Kailua High School

  • Richard Yang, Kaiser High School

  • Hinano Tsuchiya, Kalani High School

  • Montana Lagat, Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i 

  • Adriana Hernandez, Kaua‘i High School

  • Bailey Gapusan, Kea‘au High School

  • Keara Marquardt, Leilehua High School

  • Norlito Ranchez Jr., Maui High School

  • Julian Ibarra, Mid-Pacific Institute

  • Blaise Swartwood, Mililani High School

  • Esther Vo, Moanalua High School

  • Paige Fukuoka, Molokai High School

  • Melelene Matautia, Nanakuli High School

  • Paige Adaro, Pearl City High School

  • Kamalani Goo, Waimea High School

  • Taylor Fukunaga, Waipahu High School

  • Miyu Owada, University Laboratory School

Click on the gallery above to view the photos of this year's Leadership Awardees

Each year since 1995, I have recognized budding young leaders of Samoan descent for their stalwart character and outstanding service in our local communities with an award given in my parents’ name. This year, I was pleased to recognize 5 students from around the state with the Gustav & Faiaso Soliai Hannemann Leadership Award. It is worth mentioning that a couple of these awardees were also recognized as Citizen-Scholars by HLTA. Most notably, Owali Moea‘i was named the top overall male scholar while Riley Blaber was recognized as the top Scholar for Hawai‘i Island. 

Congratulations to the 2021 winners of the Gustav & Faiaso Soliai Hannemann Leadership Award, the scholarship was given to the University that they will matriculate at in their name:

  • Pinemua M. Epenesa (Radford High School) who is attending the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

  • Owali Moea‘i (Hana High School) who is attending Brigham Young University - Hawai‘i

  • Hepua Sorenson (Pearl City High School) who is attending Loyola Marymount University

  • Riley Teleise Blaber (Kealakehe High School) who is attending Cornell University

  • Delanie Tuumalo (Radford High School) who is attending Pepperdine University

As you probably know, I relished my time as a scholar-athlete both at ‘Iolani High School and during my collegiate years at Harvard University. Since 1995, I have truly enjoyed recognizing students who excel both academically and in competitive athletics. Each of these award winners have been consistent performers in and out of the classroom and are especially deserving of praise and a scholarship was deposited in their name at their chosen university of study. 

Congratulations to the following individuals who received the 2021 Mufi Hannemann Scholar-Athlete Award:

Click on the gallery above to view the photos of this year's Scholar-Athlete Honorees

  • Jacob Kamanaʻo-Bulosan (Pearl City High School) who is attending Westcliff University

  • Royce D. B. Ilaga (Waipahu High School) who is attending University of Southern California

  • Nicole Miyazono (Pearl City High School) who is attending Hawaiʻi Pacific University

  • Reyan Lee (Waipahu High School) who is attending University of California, Berkeley

  • Sasia Neermann-Hinds (ʻAiea High School) who is attending Lasell University

bottom of page