Waimea High's Leeann Sagucio is a great example of it. She's proof that the will to succeed can make you stronger.
"At first I kind of didn't want to be in ROTC," said Sagucio.
But Leeann Sagucio is certainly glad she became a Junior Reserve Officer for Waimea High. It's changed her life.
"I used to be a really shy person, when I was really young. Now in ROTC, I learned so much. I've been comfortable being myself," said Sagucio.
Leeann found her voice and soon became a proven leader. She was promoted to Command Sergeant Major for the JROTC and was one of three officers in charge of 150 cadets.
"She's come out of her shell. She's very outspoken. She sees something that needs to be done, she doesn't wait to be told. She takes the initiative and says let's go," said Waimea High Senior Army Instructor Victor Aguilar.
The Kauai girl's personality is one of a survivor.
"She's learned to struggle and grow up much earlier than other students because of that she's moved from house to house," said Aguilar.
Since she was a baby, Leeann's parents decided her life would be better with other family members. For the most part her grandparents raised her. And while she was the child, Leeann tried to be independent and strong to help them as much as they helped her.
"My grandparents they don't talk English. So pretty much Ilocano is my second language," said Sagucio.
Leeann says they are behind her good study habits that put her on the honor roll every quarter of her high school career. She'll be the first in her family to go to college, when she pursues her business degree at UH.
"It'll make my grandparents happy too. Cause they've always wanted to see me succeed. That's why they came back to the Philippines," said Sagucio.
In school, Leeann is noticed a lot for athletics. She lettered in 5 sports, tennis, basketball, riflery, cross country and track.
“I kind of like challenging myself. Trying to improve myself, especially for track. When you're being timed, you always want to improve your time, even by a couple of seconds. It's a big deal for me,” said Sagucio.
Serving her community has also been a priority. She's done everything from adopt a highway clean ups to the relay for life.
"Sometimes people tell me you have to help yourself first and people later. But then I kind of tend to put people first and then me last," said Sagucio.
It's just how Leeann is. Despite any of her personal hardships. She's thankful to give to others.and happy with whatever she receives in return.
Again students like Leeann demonstrate the qualities recognized by HMSA's Kaimana Awards and Scholarship Program. And we're looking for juniors and seniors.