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2018 Scholarship Recipients
Congratulations to our 2018 Scholarship recipients.
2017 Scholarship Recipients    

High School Graduates

Leiana Lepule
JTF Scholarship Recipient

Leiana Lepule graduated from Olympian High School and is of Samoan and Filipino descent.  She will be attending San Diego State University in the fall studying Liberal Arts to become an elementary school teacher.  She is the daughter of Tana and Elena Lepule.  Leiana was involved in the Polynesian Dnce Club, the Olympian High School Spirit Club and Peer Mentoring Program.  She played Volleyball, but played all four years club La Cross and High School La Cross. This year Leiana had the opportunity to participate at the 27th Annual Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project Conference in Sacramento, CA.  Leianahas been volunteering with PIFA most of her life with her father being one of the former President’s for PIFA.  Leiana also performed at PIFA with the Samoan Community Council and Kaliloa O’ KaleoOnalani.


Melina Rose Babauta
Miss PIFA 2017 2nd Princess

Melina Babauta graduated from Cathedral Catholic High School and represents the Chamorro and Hawaiian communities.  She is the daughter of Ricky and Jennifer Babauta.  Melina will be attending San Diego Mesa College in the fall and pursuing a career at an American Sign Language Interpreter traveling the world and also becoming an American Sign Language teacher.  Melina played three years Junior Varsity and Varsity High School Softball and participated in two drama productions, “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Anything Goes”.Melina has been volunteering with PIFA most of her life from working at the T-shirt and Drink Booths to dancing with her Heali’is Polynesian Revue under the direction of Kumu Kathy Gore Stanley.            

Keoni Butler

Keoni Butler graduated from Health Sciences High School and is of Hawaiian and Filipino descent.  He will be attending the University of California San Diego in the fall majoring in Human Biology.  Keoni is the son of Vaughn Butler and Rachelle Cesena.  In School, Keoni was the Yearbook Editor, Associated Student Body Treasurer and President. A Connect Crew Member for the Mentorship Program, Captain of the Flag Football Team, and Captain of the Volleyball Team.  He volunteered at his church at St. John of the Cross as an Usher, Rosary Maker, and helping with Faith Formation Student Aid and Bible School.   He has been involved with the Hui O’Hawaii San Diego most of his life, as well as learning to dance with Auntie Jeanne Kalani. 

Daniel Gutierrez

Daniel Gutierrez graduated from High Tech High School Chula Vista and is of Hawaiian and Mexican descent.  He is the son of Bernadette Kawahinepiilani Olmos and Justin Pires.  Daniel plans to attend San Diego State University majoring in Psychology, and after receiving his Bachelors he plans to attend CAL Western School of Law.  In high school, he was the Editor-in-Chief for the Yearbook and Student Ambassador for international visitors to the campus.  Daniel has danced under the direction of his great grandmother Auntie Jeanne Kalani since the age of 11.  He has attended many PIFA events including representing Hawaii in the Procession, performing with the Jeanne Kalani Dancers, and volunteering at the food booth with the Hawaiian Civic Club. 

Magdalene Ma’a

Magdalene Ma’a graduated from Monte Vista High School and is of Samoan descent.  She will be attending CUS San Bernadino in the fall majoring in Environmental Studies. Magdalene is the daughter of Michelle and Amerika Ma’a.She was involved in the Polynesian Club at Monte Vista High School, where she served as Treasurer in her junior year, and President in her senior year.  Magdalene taught different Polynesian styles of dance as well as teaching her club members the Samoan language. Family is the most important thing in her life, with a quote “a family that prays together stays together”.  Music has been an inspiration in Magdelene’s life where she is able to come together with her siblings to connect, harmonize, unite and share the love.  She volunteers her time and voice to several praise teams such as the Voice of Christ Full Gospel Church, the First Samoan Baptist Church, and the Good Samaritan Church.

Amaya Andrade
PIFA High School Service Award Recipient

Amaya Andrade graduated from Mira Mesa High School.  She will be attending CAL State Long Beach in the fall pursuing a career in Nursing.  Amaya is the recipient of the PIFA High School Service Award Scholarship.  She is the daughter of Anna and Randy Andrade.  Amaya played sports throughout her high school career, playing Badminton as player and manager, she was also the Captain of her Golf team.  She has also been involved is several clubs such as the National Honors Society, People Who Serve, Tea Club and Pre-Med which focuses on her future and career in Nursing.  Amaya currently dances with Motu Nehenehe and has participated in many Pacific Islander events such as PIFA, and volunteers at Heiva San Diego, and E Hula Mau.  She has been a team leader where she displays her leadership skills working with her peers.  Amaya embraces the true meaning of THE ALOHA SPIRIT.


Lillian Glenister 
Miss PIFA 2017

Lillian Glenister represents the Samoan Community.  She will be a senior this fall at San Diego State University with a double major in Journalism and Political Science.  Lillian is the Managing Editor for the SDSU’s newspaper, The Daily Aztec, and a student worker for the Victim Assistance Program for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.  Her goal is to attend graduate law school, and aspires to be a District Attorney for the County of San Diego.  Lillian dances with Pride of Polynesia.


Alana Godoy
Miss PIFA 2017 1st Princess

Alana Godoy is currently attending Southwestern College and is of Hawaiian descent.  She plans to transfer to San Diego State University and major in Hospitality and Tourism Management.  She currently works Hilton Garden Inn Mission Valley working on getting her foot in the door working in the Hospitality Industry.  Alana is a previous PIFA 2016 High School scholarship recipient.  She has also volunteered for PIFA dancing with Kaliloa O’ Kaleo Onalani over the years.

Serena Sablan

Serena Sablan is currently attending San Diego State University currently in the Nursing Program.  She is of Chamorro and Filipino descent.  Serena is a former PIFA 2016 High School Scholarship recipient.  She created the Ke Aloha Polynesia Dance Club at Eastlake High School, where continues to mentor these students while attending SDSU.  Serena has danced for Napua Ilima Kehaulani, Kaleo Onalani, and is currently dancing with He Nani O Polynesia.  She has earned the title of “Most Improved” and “Best All Around” dancer since joining He Nani P Polynesia.  Serena has been able to represent her halau dancing at Sea World and the San Diego County Fair.

Kiana Malabanan

Kiana Malabanan is currently attending San Diego State University.  She represents the Hawaiian community.  She is currently majoring in Psychology with aspirations of continuing on the graduate school with emphasis in Family Counseling working with children of divorced families.  Kianais a previous PIFA 2016 High School scholarship recipient.  She is involved with Scholars for Success, and planning to join the Pacific Islander Student Association (PISA).Kiana would like to thank her grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Moe Malabanan, for their love and teaching her about her Hawaiian culture.  Learning to strum the ukulele, playing beats on the ipu, and dance hula has created a special bond between Kiana and her Tutu Moe and her Auntie Maelani.  She has volunteered at PIFA several years by working at the food booth with Ahahui Kawila O’ Hawaii San Diego and the PIFA VIP/Hospitality as a scholarship recipient

Tiffany Castillo Pascua        
PIFA Undergraduate Service Award Recipient

Tiffany Pascua will be a senior this fall at San Diego State University.  She is majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice, and plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in Forensic Psychology.   This is her 3rd year receiving the PIFA Service Award Scholarship.  Tiffany has been involved with the Pacific Islander community ever since she started Polynesian dance participating at the PIFA festivals performing with LEIISA and currently dancing with Hiva Katoa.  Tiffany likes the idea that PIFA awards students outside the Pacific Islander communities and is thankful for PIFA being given the opportunity to pursue her education.

See Scholarship winners 2016
See Scholarships winners 2015
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
2018 PIFA Scholarships
Deadline was March 5, 2018
For information please contact:
Community Partners
Heiva San Diego
Check out their website
Jonathan Tarr Foundation
Check out their


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