Vigil honors slain Waianae teacher - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Vigil honors slain Waianae teacher

Justine Campos Justine Campos
Paul Flores Paul Flores
Bryan Yamashita Bryan Yamashita

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

WAIANAE (KHNL)- Hundreds packed Waianae High School's cafeteria Tuesday night to celebrate the life of english teacher Asa Yamashita, days after her brutal murder.

Students, both past and present, along with countless others from the community came together for a candlelight vigil. Known for her big smile and strong will, it was time to share the stories of the person they loved so much.

Everyone has that special teacher that impacted their lives.

Gave you the inspiration to achieve and the support to succeed. For hundreds , that was Asa Yamashita.

Justine Campos brings back yearbook memories from freshman year. Her favorite teacher was Mrs.Yamashita.

"She was this tall, I used to put my arm around her and say how are you doing mama-yama," said Former student Justine Campos.

Yamashita inspired her.

"She loved life and I look to her as someone I want to be when I grow up," said Campos.

For others, her big smile and big heart helped break down boundaries of stereotypes.

"We probably might not get that far because of where we come from but she was one of those teachers who believed in us and encouraged us," said Former student Paul Flores.

Both of them aren't alone. Hundreds with heavy hearts embrace Asa's family with open arms.

"It's really moving to see so many people come out.She'd be laughing saying this can't be for me," said Asa's husband Bryan Yamashita.

A scholarship is now set up in her honor, books are being donated by the bundles to support literacy, a cause Yamashita so strongly believed in.

"I just want to say thank you so much it's been so sustaining and uplifting," said Bryan Yamashita.

A life lost so soon, students send their heartfelt thanks to their beloved teacher, igniting a flame to show she'll never be forgotten.

"Mahalo Nui loa for everything you have done for me, and being my inspiration, and supporting me," said Flores.

"Always remember the happiness that came out of that tiny package. We love you and miss you yama," said Campos.

The scholarship fund set up in Yamashita's honor will be awarded starting this year to help a senior go on to college.

An account called "Friends for Asa Yamashita" is also set up at American Savings Bank to help her family offset funeral costs.

Powered by Frankly