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2015 Scholarship Recipients    
High School Graduates
Hanalei Vaitu’utu’u Iuta

Miss PIFA 2015

Hanalei Vaitu’utu’u Iuta comes from Samoan Descent. She graduated this year from James Madison High School, also being a squad leader for JROTC. Hanalei will be attending Mira Mar College in the fall, and after college she plans on joining the military and becoming a Pharmacist. . She has always dreamed of being a pharmacist and to be a great ambassador for her fellow Pacific Islanders. She is an active member and a Sunday school teacher of her church First San Diego Congregational Christian Church of San Diego. Hanalei would like to thank her parents, Lauamio and Karen Iuta, for their love and support in all her endeavors. As her mother would say "Anything is possible if you put your heart into it." Hanalei feels blessed to be given a PIFA scholarship through the Miss PIFA Scholarship Program and to represent PIFA as the new Miss Pacific Islander of San Diego. She feels that this scholarship has given her the opportunity to achieve her goals and give back to the Pacific Islander communities with her successes.
Anthony Lee Ka`uka`ulu`a`ole Stanley

Anthony Lee Ka`uka`ulu`a`ole Stanley graduated from La Jolla High School. In the fall he will be attending Occidental College for the Multicultural Seminar Institute. With his mother being the Kumu of Heali'i's Polynesian Revue, he has been surrounded by ancient traditions and strives each day to bring Polynesian traditions to life. He has been able to perpetuate the culture through music and dance. He has been showcased in concerts with Hawaii's top music artists including HAPA, Makaha Son's, Amy Hanaiali'i, Ernie Cruz Jr., and more. Most recently, he was recognized as the top male dancer at Tahiti's Toata production. As the musical director of Heali'i's Polynesian Revue, he has been able to share his heartbeat through the pulsating drums and melodic instruments. His composition and musical development has also allowed him to teach all ages as well as traveling abroad to lead workshops. He is the founder of La Jolla High's first Ukulele Club. While balancing school, sports, Polynesian dancing, and life, he most recently assisted in the Kaulana Na Pua concert and Healii’s Ho'ike, "Beyond the Reef". His ultimate goal is to become a financial advisor and musical director. Anthony is grateful to receive this year's PIFA Scholarship.

Samuel Nick

Samuel Nick graduated from Serra High School and will be attending the University of California Santa Barbara, majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Physiology. Samuel is very proud of his Black and Samoan heritage. Samuel is this year’s Jonathan Tarr Foundation recipient. Being the recipient of the PIFA Scholarship and Jonathan Tarr Foundation Scholarship is a very humbling and inspiring experience to Samuel. This scholarship will allows him to earn a bachelor’s degree and be the role model and positive example for his family and other children in the community, who can identify and look up to him. Samuel would like to give his sincere gratitude to God and all of his family who encourage and pressure him to put in his very best effort, and to my PIFA aiga, for helping shape his future.

Anuhea Tufaga

Anuhea Tufaga
graduated from Olympian High School and in the fall will be attending San Diego State University majoring in Kinesiology. In the future she hopes to eventually become a Physical Therapist and assist people with their pain and injuries. Throughout high school she has been able to maintain a 3.8 GPA while playing various sports such as Basketball, Volleyball, Track, Golf, Lacrosse, and Powder Puff (girl’s Football). She has also been given the honor in being Miss Hui O Hawai’i of San Diego 2014-2015, while still representing the Samoan community due to her ethnicity. Anuhea has performed with the Samoan Community Council at PIFA for 3 years. This scholarship has helped her and her family tremendously with all of the fees needed to be paid for college. To her, receiving this scholarship means that she can go further and experience more in college in order to pursue her future career, and still represent and be a role model for the Pacific Islander community. She would like to give a big thank you to PIFA for giving her the opportunity to continue her education.
Lastly, she would like to thank her parents and family for always supporting her and being such great people to look up to and follow in their footsteps.


Jianna Mique

Jianna Mique comes from Hawaiian and Samoan descent.  She graduated from Mira Mesa High school this year and will be attending the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico in the fall as a United States Merchant Marine Academy sponsored preparatory student.  In 2016, she plans to attend USMMA to study Marine Engineering and pursing her dream of becoming a US Naval Officer.  Jianna has been a part of the San Diego Union Tribune All-Academic Team and also participated in volleyball, golf, and softball, the Society of Women Engineers, and developed leadership skills by becoming a part of the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps.  Jianna would like to thank her mom and grandparents for helping her get to where she is today.  She would especially like to thank the board for awarding her the scholarship.

Darline Schwenke

Darline Schwenke recently received her Associate’s degree from Southwestern College where she graduated with honors. She will attend San Diego State University this Fall and will major in Communications. Darline is an alumni of Eastlake High School where she was the Varsity Cheer Captain, ASB Commissioner of Pep and Activities, and a member of the "Best Buddies" program, which assists developmentally challenged students to participate in positive social activities. Darline was also the Miss Pacific Islander of San Diego in 2012, and this title allowed her the opportunity to embrace the rich Pacific Islander culture and traditions. This was a very rewarding experience, and it allowed Darline to promote and perpetuate the cultures of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Darline is of Samoan descent and her culture and traditions are something she is very proud of. She continues to give back to the community by volunteering her time to coach youth cheerleaders. She is also a PIFA member and she can be seen volunteering at PIFA events such as The Taste of PIFA, Miss PIFA pageant, and at the annual PIFA festival. Darline loves to attend concerts and support her brothers at their football games. She is so appreciative for the generosity of PIFA and its sponsors for investing in the education for students like herself. Darline would like to thank the PIFA Board of Directors for selecting her as a PIFA scholarship recipient.

Tiffany Castillo Pascua

Tiffany Castillo Pascua is an Eastlake High School alumni. She is currently in her second year at San Diego State University where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and minoring in Forensic Science. This is the second year in a row that Tiffany was selected for the Service Award scholarship. Tiffany has been involved with the Pacific Islander community ever since she started Polynesian dance and embraced the unique culture. Since 2007, she has danced at PIFA consistently. Tiffany works as a volunteer and performs with LEIISA Polynesian Dance Group. On her own time, she shares the culture with students at Hedenkamp, a local elementary school to raise awareness of the Pacific Islander community. Tiffany is grateful to PIFA, her parents, The Man Above, family and friends who has continued to support her throughout all of her academic endeavors.


Tyrone Alexander Hueitt Jr.

Tyrone Alexander Hueitt Jr. comes from Native Hawaiian descent.  He graduated from Cuyamaca Community College as a Biological Science major with an Associates of Science Degree.  He will continue to attend Cuyamaca Community College until going to UC Santa Cruz in the Spring of 2016.  He plans to get a Doctorate in Biological Science to do further research in Biology.  As a collegiate basketball athlete, Tyrone has always dreamed of playing professional basketball and received many offers across the country to attend a four-year University to play basketball at a higher level, but he chose to attend college locally to be close to family. Being involved with his culture has been an integral part of his life.  Tyrone has volunteered at the PIFA Festival for many years, as well as the Taste of the Pacific Islands. He is also a PIFA member.  He also volunteered at the San Diego Shaka Festival and the San Diego Ho’olaule’a. Tyrone would like to give back to his community by starting an organization that teaches young students and young adults about the Pacific Islander Community, learn about their ancestors, and incorporate hula learning into how to tell stories through dancing. Tyrone would like to become a PIFA Board of Director to help out the Pacific Islander Community and be in charge of Entertainment and the Cultural Village to help his peers understand the Pacific Islander Culture.

Tianalei Siufanua

Tianalei Siufanua represents her Samoan heritage. She is currently a junior at Brigham Young University studying Public Relations. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is involved in various service projects and community development.  Tianalei represents her culture by excelling in academics and community activities as part of the Multicultural Student Program.  She plans to study abroad during the winter semester in New Zealand through the BYU communications program that allows direct exposure to Pacific culture media and cultural organizations which she hopes to gain more knowledge and emerge herself into her culture. This scholarship will help her further her education and her career pursuits in global mass communication through Public Relations.  Her desire to lend a helping hand and serve her community has her working with various organizations such as Aware of Angels, a local non-profit organization that helps with proper research and diagnosis for children with rare diseases. Family means everything to Tianalei.  She would like to thank her parents, Michele and Sam Siufanua, who have given her a strong foundation for her life and supporting all of her dreams and aspirations, also pushing her to become the young woman she is today.  Tianalei feels blessed and is extremely honored to receive this year’s PIFA undergraduate scholarship and be a representative for PIFA and the Polynesian community.

Terrill James Kaneli’i Williams

Terrill James Kaneli’i Williams, also known as Lehua, comes from Kanaka Maoli descent.  He is entering his second year at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and majoring in Critical Gender Studies, double-minoring in Education Studies and Environmental Studies, as well as hoping to later double-major in Ethnic Studies.  He intends to get involved in research, social justice work, and cultural revitalization and perpetuation concerning Indigenous communities, especially that regarding Kanaka Maoli.  Terrill will be interning at the LGBT Resource Center at UCSD for the 2015-2016 academic year.  Preparing for his internship and through his studies, he has been able to truly come into understanding and reclaiming his identity; and knowing the important kuleana he has in preserving the hula traditions of his culture.  Several opportunities have shaped his cultural development-:  offering an oli to Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu at the showing of Kumu Hina here in San Diego, being involved in this year's opening ceremony for the San Diego Ho’olaule’a,  and being able to dance with the wahine, opening the U.T.O.P.I.A  San Diego annual lu’au with an oli, as well as just learning from two kumu hula who have shaped much of his knowledge:  Liana Iona and Kapena Malulani Perez.   Terrill is honored to receive the PIFA Undergraduate Scholarship and to represent PIFA, other Kanaka Maoli, and his ‘Ohana.

Ignacio "Nash" Salas

Ignacio "Nash" Salas is of Chamorro descent and heritage, and is an alumni of Samuel F.B. Morse High School. He will be a senior this fall attending San Diego State University (SDSU) where he pursues his Bachelors of Arts in English Single Subject Teaching Credentials. Nash is also the current president for SDSU’s Pacific Islander Student Association (PISA) where he not only helps raise cultural awareness of the Pacific Islands on campus but also helps to promote higher education to Pacific Islander Youth through the organization’s annual events. He has volunteered at PIFA since high school for the Morse Islander Student Association (MISA) and continues to volunteer alongside PISA. Keeping in touch with his own Chamorro culture, Nash helps his family and the Agat Social Club of California with their annual St. Rose of Lima fiestas at the Chamorro Ministry in Chula
Vista. Lastly, he became part of the Pride of Polynesia dance group, under the direction of Auntie Susan Leiataua, where he learns more about the different dances and cultures of the Pacific Islands.

See Scholarships winners 2014
See Scholarships winners 2013
See Scholarships winners 2012
See Scholarships winners 2011
See Scholarships winners 2010
See Scholarships winners 2009
See Scholarships winners 2008
See Scholarships winners 2007
2016 PIFA Scholarships
Application deadline was March 6, 2016
For information please contact:
Community Partners
Samoan Community Council of
San Diego

Check out their website
Heiva San Diego
Check out their website
UTOPIA San Diego
Check out their website
Jonathan Tarr Foundation
Check out their


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