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2011 Scholarship Recipients    


Mialani Love
Helix High School
Miss PIFA 2011

Mialani Marie Love is a graduate of Helix Charter High School Class of 2011 and plans to attend Grossmont College.  She has big dreams and aspirations of majoring in Broadcast/Television and Film.  Academics and community service is something Mia continues to make an important part of her life as she has volunteered with organizations such as, Pin Pals Jr. Links, which is an organization that sponsors kids golf programs to inner-city youth and wounded Vets, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet as a dancer and teacher’s assistant teaching tiny tots ballet, Inner City Faith Fellowship working with and mentoring the youth ministry and teaching Polynesian dance class, Helix High School Poly Club and since she was 12 years old she has been an active volunteer  for the Pacific Islander Festival.  Mia has a deep love for dance and has danced with the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, SDCYB, Dance Express and Taupou Samoa.   Mia has always admired and looked up to past Miss PIFA queens and princesses as role models in her life and is proud to represent her Samoan community as the new Miss Pacific Islander of San Diego 2011-2012.  As she enters the next phase in her life she plans to continue volunteering with the Pacific Islander Festival Association, furthering her education in the field of Telecommunications and Broadcasting and hopes to have her own show one day on television, radio or on the internet to help promote the Pacific Islander Culture.

Kelsey Joy Lujan
Olympian High School

PIFA Top Scholar Award Recipient
Jonathan Tarr Foundation Award

Kelsey Lujan’s Pacific Islander heritage is very central to her life. Her great-grandmother had twenty-one children of which her grandmother was theeldest. Kelsey’s grandmother is a strong woman who has been a positive influence throughout her life. It is through her grandmother that she learned the importance of family, faith, work and pride. Kelsey has also been a hula and Tahitian dancer since the age of five. She is especially proud that she was a founder of the Pacific Islander Club at her high school and that she has had a role in educating the students about her heritage.
At Olympian High School, Kelsey was involved in serving her community with over 220 hours of community service, and was on the ASB for three years while maintaining a 3.62 GPA. In her freshman year, Kelsey received the Principal’s Leadership Award for "working hard, inspiring others, remaining positive, and persisting relentlessly." This was a prestigious award because she was the first freshman to be presented this award in the school’s history.
Kelsey also played varsity sports for four years in volleyball and softball, and became the first volleyball player at Olympian High School to have played at the varsity level for all four years. She was awarded the “Best Defensive Player” Award in her junior year in the libero position, and was team captain in her senior year.
This year, Kelsey volunteered for the youth village at the Chamorro Cultural Fest last May. As a volunteer, she assisted at the work stations and helped the youth learn about their island roots. She created and performed a rap regarding her Guamanian roots.
Kelsey will continue her education at Cal State Fullerton, majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Radio-TV-Film. She plans to become a news broadcaster. In this role, she hopes to have the opportunity to represent her community and be a role model for others.


Sirarotoga Mareta Solomona
Lutheran High School

Sirarotoga Mareta Solomona is a New Zealand-born Samoan & is currently attending San Diego Christian College, after graduating from Lutheran High School of San Diego. While in High School, Sira maintained a grade point average above a 3.0, while playing Volleyball, Basketball, & Softball.  Sira was awarded with 1st team all-league in Volleyball & Softball, as well as being voted Homecoming Queen.  Sira is a member of The First Samoan Congregational Christian Church of San Diego, where her father serves as the Minister of the church. In her church, Sira serves as a member of both the Aoga Aso Sa (Sunday School) and the Au Talavou (youth choir).  She is heavily involved in both Church & community activities. Putting God first is very important in her life, because she knows that “With God, ALL things are possible.”  Sira’s goals are to: Graduate College with a Degree in Psychology, study for a master’s degree, and own her own private practice or work as a High School Guidance Counselor. She would like to thank, from the bottom of her heart, the Pacific Islander Festival Association for granting her with a scholarship to jump start her goals, and for believing in her. May God continue to bless you all.

James Lee Stanley
La Jolla High School

James Stanley is a graduate of La Jolla High School and is attending San Jose State University in the fall. James has been dancing for his mother's group, Heali'i's Polynesian Revue, ever since he could walk. He has performed in every PIFA, numerous Polynesian events, and many charity functions, as well as for touring Polynesian artists such as Hapa, Makaha Sons, and Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom. Not only is he a dancer but a leader as well; he instructs dance and drumming classes at his mother's halau and was president of the Island Style Club at La Jolla High to pass on the Polynesian culture. This PIFA scholarship will help James with his studies in kinesiology at San Jose State University and his plans to become a physical therapist.


Darrion Kekoa Mansinon-Salazar
Morse High School
Darrion Kekoa Salazar is a graduate of Morse High school, he plans to attend San Diego City College and hopes to transfer to a four year university. Darrion graduated with Honors and with the principals award by maintaining a 4.1 accumulative GPA while being an athlete. Darrion threw varsity shotput and discus for four years and played varsity football for two and making "first team all league" his senior year. Darrion loves to draw on his spare time and hang out with family and friends. He plans to become a civil engineer in the future and live a successful and most important a happy life. He hopes to inspire young kids all around to educate their minds and become better people.

Tutulu H. Finau
Mountain Empire High School

Tutulu Finau is a recent graduate from Mountain Empire High School and will be enrolling into Riverside Community College in the fall. Tutulu was very active in his school activities participating in his school’s football team, track and field, Volley Ball, Baseball and simply being an all around great individual. Tutulu got a firsthand experience of farming in his recent involvement with the FFA (Future Farmers of America) where he was able to help raise a cow and eventually sell. This experience helped him realize the struggles and rewards in life. While attending RCC he will be enrolled in the basic required classes with the hope of one day transferring out of RCC and enrolling into Cal Poly Pomona next year. Tutulu dreams big and plans on majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Law Enforcement. With this major he hopes to build homes for the less fortunate and assist all Pacific Islanders in need of repair of their homes.    

Adonis Jacob Bell
Lincoln High School

I am a part of the first graduating class of the new Lincoln High, Class of 2011. ). I was the captain of my high school golf team and drum-line for the final two years. I graduated as an honors student with a 3.83 GPA. I am currently attending SDSU and Majoring in Biology. I would like to be a scientist one day but my real dream is to play on the PGA Tour, (Professional Golf Association Tour). I plan to join the pacific islander organization on campus as well as other student organizations.
I have been involved with the Samoan Community Council of San Diego (SCCSD) since 2005.  I volunteered for the Samoa Disaster Relief San Diego (sponsored by SCCSD) during the tragic earthquake and Tsunami that hit the islands of Samoa in 2009.  I also volunteered and served food at St. Vincent de Paul during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  I enjoy my personal accomplishments and passion for my culture and community and plan to continue serving in the future.
The last six years I danced for SCCSD at the Pacific Island Festival of San Diego (PIFA) representing the islands of Samoa.  I performed for many cultural events at Market Creek Plaza and throughout San Diego.  One event I’m proud and honored to have been a part of was the 10th Festival of the Pacific Arts, held in America Samoa. It was an experience I’ll hold close to my heart for life.  I am grateful for the priceless and valuable cultural experience regarding my Samoan heritage.


Martin Finau
McMurry University - Abilene, TX

Martin is a sophomore at McMurry University majoring in Sociology with a minor in Criminology. His transition from California to Texas was not only a big step in his education but more importantly in becoming an Adult. Martin continues to hold strong the value his family and church taught him in being a strong Christian. Martin quickly adapted to his surroundings and quickly shared the “California love” to all his friends and classmates. Martin is an active member in his school Campus Activity Board with the responsibility of creating campus activities for all the students, also Fellowship with Christian Athletes a weekly get together of athletes gathering to read the bible and pray. Aside from school, Martin is actively teaching his cousin and Euless Tongan church, Polynesian dances that he learned from back in the islands. After graduating Martin hopes to join the marines so that he may also serve the country that gives so much for him. With his bachelor in Sociology and returning from his service as a marine, he plans to work with the younger Polynesian generation in towards gaining a better future.

John Finau
Hawaii Pacific University

Currently a senior in his last year at Hawaii Pacific University, John is planning on graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in Religion in May 2012. As the eldest of the family, he hopes to set an example for his younger siblings in the importance of achieving a higher education. Apart from school, John is an active member in his schools Worship service and Wesley Foundation campus ministry. Recently John has joined “Tali-Folau” a small group of young adults aiming to help keep up the Polynesian Culture but also help out the community in various acts of kindness such as feeding of the homeless. Upon his graduation from Hawaii Pacific University he plans on attending Seminary in hope of one day becoming a United Methodist Minister for the American-Tongan congregation. John hopes one day of becoming an example for other Polynesians. Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me.

Jessikalyn (Kalena) Merghart
San Diego State University
Kalena Merghart is a 20 year old, San Diego native who has been raised to embrace all parts of her heritage; including those of the Polynesian culture. Raised with a family owned halau, Halau O Na Ali’I, Kalena has always had a permanent foundation to grow and learn within the Polynesian community. From a student to a teacher to a performer, Kalena aspires to cover all grounds of those who have come before her. Attending San Diego State University with a major of Foods and Nutrition, a dream of becoming a Nutritionist with a focus on those diseases most commonly found among Polynesian people has become Kalena’s passion. Though her focus has been stretched to her academic career, her passion to perpetuate her culture is never far behind. Becoming Miss Heiva 2010 and being invited to participate in two of the most renowned Polynesian festivals, the Merrie Monarch Festival (Hawaii) and the Heiva Festival (Tahiti) are only a few highlights of this young women’s life. Beginning her Junior year at SDSU this fall, Kalena goes into this semester as a working, full-time student who continues to balance the demands of school, work, dancing, and teaching.

Amber Singh
Brigham Young University

Amber Singh is currently a junior at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She is majoring in Public Relations and is grateful for the opportunity she has to further her education in this field. She continues to be involved in leadership positions in church and school, where she plans and organizes activities for the young adults in the area. Amber also had the privilege of traveling to the Northwestern states and Russia this past year to perform with the prominent group, Living Legends. She entertains and shares her culture through song and dance… something she has done throughout her life. Through her travel, she appreciated the opportunity she had to learn about other people and their culture. This year, she looks forward to traveling to Southern California with Living Legends. Family and friends are important to Amber and she does all that she can to build and strengthen relationships at home, in the community, at school and at church. She enjoys doing service for others and strives to make a difference in the lives of others.

See Scholarships winners 2010
See Scholarships winners 2009
See Scholarships winners 2008
See Scholarships winners 2007
2012 Scholarships
2012 Scholarship applications
Deadline February 29, 2012
High School application
Undergraduate application
For further information about Miss PIFA please email:
Community Partners
Samoan Community Council of
San Diego

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Heiva San Diego 2011
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UTOPIA San Diego
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