Tennis Student’s Community-Mindedness Inspires Many

Punahou Communications Staff

December 22, 2016

This winter break, Trystin ’20 will compete in the USTA National Winter Championships in Tucson, Arizona, accompanied by her Punahou coach, Associate Tennis Professional Brent Hunter.

The freshman is one of the top two players in the state of Hawai‘i in the junior girls 14-and-under division to be invited to compete, and she is currently ranked No. 88 in the country.

Be sure to cheer her on from Dec. 27 – Jan. 2!

Trystin’s good-natured determination and positive impact on the student body was recently recognized by fellow student Diza ’20 in an article published in the Academy newspaper, “Ka Punahou.”

Trystin ‘20 is a humble member of the Punahou community, who also leads by following the path she believes is true to her.

Born and raised on O‘ahu, Trystin entered Punahou in fourth grade. Now as a freshman, one of her favorite parts about the Academy is “its network of students and staff that branch out further than the school.”

She treats her classmates and teachers with respect and kindness, making the people around her feel like friends. Even though many students have attended Punahou for most of their lives, Trystin worries that students don’t stop and talk to each other enough.

She hopes that more Punahou students will discover the importance of friendship and “put in an effort to meet new people every day by just making small talk on campus.”

One of Trystin’s biggest passions is tennis, which she first began playing as a 6-year-old. Tennis isn’t just a sport, but a distraction and an escape from drama and stress. It’s an activity that allows her to focus on doing what she loves to do.

One of her proudest moments in her junior tennis career was during the finals of Hawai‘i’s biggest youth tennis tournaments. She had a rough start, down 0 – 4 (of which a set goes up to six) at one point, only to come back and win the entire match. The victory secured her ranking, helping her qualify for hard court nationals in the state of Georgia.

Having achieved so much at a young age, Trystin credits her mother for her success. Although her mother has gone through many hardships, she continues to make sacrifices for her daughter to have a happy and successful future.

Trystin’s mother is always there for her, selfless in her ability to put her daughter first. At one particularly humbling part of her life, Trystin and her family were living in her step-dad’s welding shop. Because of their financial difficulties, her family was frequently upset and on edge, unable to think optimistically. Eventually, Trystin and her family were able to leave the shop and move into a new home of their own.

In addition to juggling school, tennis and family, Trystin is also heavily involved in her community, particularly concerning women’s rights. One of her salient beliefs is that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of their gender. No woman should be barred from achieving or participating in something on the basis on her gender.

Through her volunteer work with HUGS, a nonprofit support network for children with terminal illnesses, Trystin finds additional inspiration through the personal connections she is able to form. Even with so much hardship, the children she works with live life to the fullest and “never complain about anything.” This experience inspires Trystin to be grateful for the privileges she’s been given and to continue working her hardest.

More than anything else, Trystin is genuine, helpful and persistent. She strives to be the best version of herself and resist the urge to “follow the crowd.” To her, it’s important to both stay true to herself, as well as set an example for others that authenticity is a strength.

She hopes that one day “our world can be able to put aside our own egos and focus on doing what’s right.”


  • 12/22/2016 8:08:51 PM

    Good luck, Trystin at the winter nationals! We're behind you all the way! – Sonia


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