By Liz Chun - bio | email
This month's Kaimana close up features a student athlete with a lesson that's worth all of us learning.
Christian Cachola Oldham is someone who continues to give to others, despite some people giving up on him, when he was just 10 years old. The ability to read isn't something Christian Cachola Oldham takes for granted.
Oldham says,"Before I couldn't even read a menu, now I love to read. I just enjoy learning."
And it shows since being accepted to Kamehameha as a sophomore Christian is now an honor roll student but his success story had a very discouraging start.
He says,"I was reading maybe two or three grade levels behind. I was in elementary at the time. My teacher said I would never be able to read past the 8th grade level."
That's when it was discovered that Christian had Dyslexia, a learning disability that makes the written word confusing.
I knew what the words meant when people said them but I just wasn't able to read on paper.
That's why stories didn't make sense. With Dyslexia Christian's mind played tricks on him, skipping entire sentences and switching up letters like B's and D's. But once he knew what was wrong Christian worked on making it right. Simple studying techniques like using a bookmarker soon helped get him back on track.
He says,"That was the real driving force in me. Me wanting to learn. Not only were the things I was learning interesting to me. It was like, I wanted to prove them wrong and make my mom proud."
Despite early predictions that he'd never graduate from high school, Christian is now thriving and planning to go to college where he hopes to continue to play soccer as he always has.
He says,"When I first started, I moved up from AYSO to HYSA playing with the Bulls and playing high school at Pac 5 to Kamehameha. I have no idea how many soccer games I've played. Since maybe the 5th grade to the present time I've been playing soccer almost every weekend. I've only had maybe 2 weeks of break in between each season, not even that sometimes."
Christian is as busy with soccer as he is doing community service work. On any given weekend he could be cooking, cleaning or in some way volunteering. In boy scouts we do a lot of eagle projects and we fix up the trails. We paint churches, clean them up.
Preparing food for the homeless with his school's Tree Huggers club is one of his favorite projects. This time the students made enough to feed about 350 people.
Another time Christian and other members of Kamehameha's National Honor Society were helping tidy up the Ronald McDonald house.
He says,"There's a lot of people who need help. They need it you know. Just offering two or three hours of my time in the day could help a lot more people than just myself."
It's a very unselfish act. for someone like Christian who has worked extra hard to get to where he is, no matter how you want to read into it.