Author: Jazmyne Pennington

Kaira Verdugo

Kaira Verdugo is a 19-year-old Natural Sciences major from Honolulu. She plans to pursue a degree in Forensics after graduating from KCC.

“I like the fact that I could bring closure to families, if something bad were to happen,” she said.

After high school, Verdugo took a year off and went to Guam, where she worked with her uncle at his business consulting firm. She decided that she wasn’t interested in that career path and returned to O‘ahu to enroll at Kapi‘olani Community College.

In her free time, Verdugo likes to do karate, read, and watch Netflix.

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Loreto Mendoza Jr.

Loreto Mendoza Jr. is a 25-year-old from Maui and is currently in the Respiratory Care Program at Kapiolani Community College.

After graduating high school, Mendoza was a combat engineer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He specialized in working with explosives and urban breaching. In 2014, Mendoza deployed to Afghanistan with a B billet as a 240 Bravo machine gunner.

Mendoza enjoys the Respiratory program because of the opportunity to work with people. 

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Voices & Views

  • Alyssa EspinozaAlyssa Espinoza
    Alyssa Espinoza moved to Hawaiʻi with her husband ­six months ago. Originally from Texas, Espinoza and her partner had spent a year and a half stationed in Nebraska before moving to the aloha state. She said that she has been enjoying the island, and its mellow weather. “I like it because it doesn’t snow,” Espinoza said. “We get to go to the beach a lot, which is a lot of fun. … We can be outside, swimming, and my dog likes to be outside … ” Being away from her extended family is a challenge to the 21-year old. “ … My family is back home in Texas, and I recently just lost two of my grandfathers, over the past like, two months. That’s the hardest part, is not being able to be with my family.” Alyssa is currently working towards a degree in nursing at KCC. In the future, she hopes to work in pediatric care. In her free time, she goes on hikes and fishing with her husband. She also enjoys watching tutorial videos on how to do makeup.

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