Hundreds of juniors and seniors and their parents turned out for College Previews 2012, seeking a glimpse of university life from recent Punahou graduates eager to share their tips for success after high school.
2012 College Previews (slideshow)
The annual event, co-sponsored by the College Counseling Department and the Parent Faculty Association, is a highlight of winter break as alumni reconnect with the Punahou ‘ohana and Academy families gain insight into what college is really like.
Eighty-five alumni — mainly from the Classes of 2011 and 2012 — representing dozens of educational institutions participated in this year’s event, held Dec. 26, 2012. They shared their wisdom with Punahou juniors and seniors, parents, and scholars from the Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program at Punahou School, which helps keep public-school students on track for college.
For the recent alumni, the event kicked off in the PE Pavilion, where they socialized and caught up with one another before College Previews officially got under way. They were greeted by College Counselors Christopher Obenchain and Darlee-Anne Kishimoto, who thanked them for returning to share the knowledge they’ve gained. Director of Alumni Relations Kikilia Fordham ’82 warmly welcomed the group back to campus, and encouraged the graduates to tap into Punahou’s alumni network as a lifelong resource.
Meanwhile, in Thurston Memorial Chapel, four 2012 graduates and their parents participated in a 30-minute panel discussion on college transitions, moderated by Director of College Counseling Myron Arakawa ’66. Panelists Jazlyn Akaka (Wellesley College) and mom Gayln; Ryan Wong (Villanova University) and Russell Wong (Stanford University) and dad David ’73; and Cara Mukai (Gonzaga University) and mom Jasmine Mau-Mukai, discussed issues such as handling heavier college workloads, balancing extracurricular and social activities with academics, and coping with cold weather. The recent graduates agreed that Punahou had prepared them well, and said that reaching out to others for help and advice in their new surroundings eased their transitions.
After the panel discussion, the crowd moved to PE Pavilion, where pennants symbolizing dozens of educational institutions were arrayed on long tables in alphabetical order — from Amherst to Yale. Punahou alumni attending each of the schools manned the stations, talking story in an informal atmosphere that encouraged candor.
“This is great because it exposes students to so many opportunities and options. Plus, they know they can really ask us anything and we will answer as fully as we can,” said Analia Hermosillo ’11, who is studying culinary arts at the Art Institute of Portland. “I am so happy to be following my passion, and that’s my main advice: that they should follow their passion to find the place that best fits what they want to do in life.”
Attendees such as Alayna Kobayashi ’14 appreciated hearing about so many colleges in a single afternoon, and was struck by the fact that alumni at every institution she inquired about felt very well-prepared for college.
“I especially appreciate their perspective because they went to Punahou too, so they know what kind of work we are doing here,” she said. “Talking to so many recent Punahou graduates who are doing so well at excellent schools definitely makes the whole transition to college seem less intimidating.”