Class of 1992
By Zena Heu
Kenoa Dela Cruz has been a member of the Hawai‘i Community College Counseling and Support Services Center team for the past five years. Her counseling duties are numerous and varied. Her goal is to keep students in school, and toward that end she also teaches student success classes and workshops and advises the college honor society. Kenoa says that counseling chose her because of her personality and temperament. While in high school, she served as a conflict mediator and advice giver to her family and friends.
Kenoa is the first in her family to earn a four-year degree in higher education. A 1992 graduate of Waiakea High School, she graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a certificate in Hawaiian language in 1997, and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in counseling and guidance in 2001.
Kenoa is passionate about assisting students who are pursuing their dreams and changing their lives. She cries tears of joy when students who have overcome tremendous challenges walk on stage to receive their diploma. She said, “When one student succeeds, we all benefit!”
The things that Kenoa most remembers about Waiakea High School were her teachers and the student activities. As her senior class president she said: “We were proud to be Warriors as demonstrated in our strong participation in school and class activities. As freshmen, we won the alma mater competition and dominated Homecoming from our sophomore through senior years. Our teachers really cared about us and would go the extra mile both inside and outside the classroom to ensure that we really learned not only academic, but lifelong lessons.”
Kenoa married her high school sweetheart, Louie, and they have a daughter, Melehoalalani. She is an active member of New Hope Christian Fellowship Hilo. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 1997 and has received several awards for counseling. She also published a research article in the International Journal of Intercultural Relations in 2006.