Author: Jana Julian

Dani Awang

Dani Awang, a 30-year old aspiring private chef, is currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at KCC.

“I actually don’t have a drivers license,” Dani said. “My favorite thing about Hawai’i has been the public transportation. Back in New York, it’s very chaotic but here it’s more my speed.

Dani is from is Queens, New York and has lived in Hawai‘i for nine months; she has wanted to move to Hawai’i since 2008. When she isn’t busy with school and studying, she likes to binge watch shows. “I just finished watching Trublood,” Dani said. “Now I’ve started watching Living Single; it’s such a classic.”

Dani, a former military member, hopes to graduate from the culinary program and include nutritional training in her career. She wants to show people that they can eat healthily and have delicious meals.

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Yonik Gomez

Yonik Gomez, a former Marine, is currently studying to get into the radiology technician program at KCC.

“Right now I’m trying to get into the rad tech program. I’m almost done with my prereqs, but I have to wait until next year to take the placement test.” Yonik said,” If I don’t get into that program, I’ll probably go to UH West (Oahu) and do their Health Administration program.

Yonik used to work in communications in the Marine Corps and has lived on O‘ahu since 2012. He travels from the west side of the island, leaving as early as 6 a.m. to beat traffic and find parking on campus. In his free time, he practices tattooing himself because he is a huge fan of body art.

“Most of my tattoos, I’ve gotten by other tattoo artists.” Yonik said, “My upper body has tattoos from California and Thailand, my legs are all me; I did one recently on my ankle.”

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Alexandria Womack

Alexandria Womack, a 21-year old aspiring clinical psychologist, is currently enrolled in the Liberal Arts degree program at KCC.

“I love how accommodating the professors at KCC are,” Alexandria said. “I feel that our relationships with our professors are more sincere, which contributes a lot to the success of a student.”

Alexandria is from Lāi’e, Oahu on the North Shore but currently lives in town near McCully. In her free time, she loves watching new films and tv shows on Netflix. “Orange Is the New Black is my favorite series to watch,” Alexandria said. “I really enjoy how diverse the show is and the stories being told.”

Alexandria plans to graduate from UH Mānoa with a BA in Psychology and hopes to attend Clark University, a historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Voices & Views

  • Kiara BellKiara Bell
    Kiara Bell is a 30-year-old Liberal Arts major from Warner Robins, Ga. Although majoring in Liberal Arts, his focus is in History. Before attending KCC, Bell served for seven years as an Embarkation Specialist in the U.S. Marines. During his service, he was deployed twice to Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom. At 19-years-old, Bell joined the Marines to support his family. He also came from a family of veterans, including his mom and brothers. Bell explained that he was able to experience more than his peers at that age, and had opportunities to travel and interact with different people and high-level agencies. Bell feels that he was presented with many positive influences. During his deployments, Bell explained that because of always being forward deployed, and not always able to communicate, there was a lot of stress on his family. He was unable to attend the birth of his first son, and his marriage became strained. After he returned, he struggled with the impact of engaging in combat, losing friends in combat, and having to cope with everything on his own. Bell struggled with negative thoughts and emotions that impacted his personal life. Of all of the places that he was able to travel, Bell states that Germany was one of his favorites. His favorite aspect of serving in the Marines was the ability to travel, and the opportunity to see the world and meet new people. When asked what advice he would give anyone considering joining the military, Bell said, “Do your research. Do your research and know what you want. Take note of your skills and don’t let anyone pressure you into taking a job you don’t want." Now Bell spends his time attending classes at Kapi’olani Community College and can often be found helping out his peers in the Veteran & Military Resource Center. In his free time, he enjoys exercising, going to the beach, and hiking with his dog.

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