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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, June 2, 2001

Isle students find ways to make us all proud

Hawai'i's students made us proud this past week in more ways than one.

First, there was Iolani 8th-grader Matthew Won, who coolly and skillfully made his way into the final round of the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C., this week.

Won made it to the final seven out of 248 of the best spellers from across the entire nation. The word that stopped him, "Abidjan," the capital of the Ivory Coast, could easily have stumped the best of us.

(By the way, Matthew, the spell-check function of this newspaper's computer didn't know the word, either!)

Then there were the seniors of Kahuku High School, who proved that today's graduates are thinking of far more than themselves.

The students and the community raised $55,000 for Project Graduation, a safe after-commencement party. But rather than blowing the entire amount on celebration of their well-deserved honors, the seniors decided to give back to the school and the community.

They awarded $5,000 toward an endowment for their alma mater. In addition, they plan to use some of the money for two $500 scholarships.

The Kahuku graduates honor their school and themselves with this generous gesture. To them, and to master speller Matthew Won, congratulations.