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Priory Alumnae Succeeding in College
St. Andrew's Schools
What happens when a Priory alumna does a good deed? We pass it forward! Danene Lunn ’80, owner of Manuhealiʻi, generously gifted faculty and staff with beautiful aloha print masks to keep our team safe during the global pandemic. We passed on Danene’s gracious hospitality by purchasing Manuhealiʻi masks for Priory alumnae on our recent college trip to Washington.
The ʻahuʻula print has regal significance because it represents the feather capes worn by Aliʻi. What better mask to present to our alums than a Queen Emma inspired print?
      First stop: Meeting Pohai Del Rosario ’19 at Washington State University! Pohai gave us a special tour of WSU and showed us the Animal Science Building. “I’m in the pre vet program,” said Pohai. “I’m continuing what I started in Priory in the City.”
      Priory in the City is our premier college and career readiness program that gives students an opportunity to explore career pathways with industry mentors and to align college aspirations with professional goals. At its core, Priory in the City encourages students to connect their passion with a purpose.
      During her Priory in the City internship, Pohai interned with veterinarians and staff at VCA Family Animal Hospital. In addition to animals, Pohai has a deep appreciation for her Hawaiian culture and the Pacific Northwest wildlife. As a member of the Hawaiʻi Club and the Pacific Island Club at WSU, she enjoys outings with friends, grilling outdoors, and camping at Wawawai River all under the beautiful Washington stars.
 
Fun fact: WSU is the only university in the US with grizzly bears on campus. Why? For research. Bears help students gain insight into human and animal health.
 
      Next stop: Seattle University with Priory grads Kara Ho ’21 and Maya Reid ’20! Kara is studying Business Management and Maya is studying Kinesiology.
      “It is easy to make friends at Seattle U.,” Maya said. “People are accepting and open-minded. Seattle U. is inclusive, diverse, and close-knit. I’m thankful professors establish connections with students.”
 
Fun fact: Seattle U. has a Dale Chihuly brilliant red, glass-blown chandelier hanging from the School of Business and Economics. The title of the piece? “To ignite.”
 
      Up next: Gonzaga University with Priory alumnae Christa Langdon ’19 and Alexia Saad ’19! Alexia is majoring in Business Administration with two concentrations: HR Management and Marketing. She is also minoring in Psychology and Criminology and serves on the Dean’s Business Forum Board.
      “I love Gonzaga’s community, small class size, and 1:1 connection to peers and professors,” said Alexia. “It’s similar to The Priory. I help to connect the school of business with the community, and  appreciate the networking. It’s basically Priory in the City!”
      Alexia is also involved in Parent and Family Crew and plans orientations for parents and families. Her Priory in the City mentor, Dr. Kathrine Fast, said, “It’s wonderful to hear that Alexia plans events for students and their families because her Priory in the City project at UH Manoa focused on how to help students transition to college.”
      Christa is double majoring in Criminology and Sociology and minoring in Spanish. She loves performing with the Gonzaga Dance Team and has stayed involved in yearbook design.
      “At The Priory, I enjoyed yearbook with Ms. Matsumoto,” Christa said. “I also mentor a middle schooler at one of the Spokane middle schools.”
      Their Priory spirit of leadership and service continues at Gonzaga University.
 
Fun fact: You know it’s Christmas when a Gonzaga DJ plays Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” for the campus. Crosby attended Gonzaga.
 
      Next stop: University of Washington with Priory graduates Amelia Ide ’20 and Leticia Au ’20! The meet-up with Amelia and Leticia took place at the UW bookstore on University Way, known locally as “The Ave,” which is a focus for student life. Amelia plans to study Business Administration and Urban Planning. Leticia plans to study Biology and is considering a double major in Psychology.
      “My favorite things about UW,” said Leticia, “are the campus, the location, and the people. Although UW is a large school and seems overwhelming at first, the community feels pretty small – I frequently see people I know walking around campus. Before college, the idea of meeting new people and making connections was intimidating. Thankfully, I have been able to form meaningful relationships with people from my lectures, clubs, and dorm. I feel that I can always rely on my friends, professors, teaching assistants, and advisors for their support and guidance.”
      Amelia also appreciates her professors and friends. “I like that the professors truly care about wanting to see us succeed,” said Amelia, “and will go out of their way to assist us after lecture or in office hours.
      “The friends I’ve made are some of my closest friends and I’m grateful for them. UW is an amazing school, located in the heart of Seattle, and is the right fit for me. Go Huskies!”
      It was wonderful to hear that all the alumnae we visited felt the same way: The college they chose was a great fit!
 
Fun fact: Entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Paul Allen regularly used computers on the UW campus before launching Microsoft.
 
Final stop: DigiPen Institute of Technology with Priory alumna Samantha Tome ’19 and her four-legged furry friend, Jax! Sam is studying digital art and animation.
      “I researched colleges and chose DigiPen,” Sam said, “because it has one of the top programs in animation.”
      Sam carries a 4x6 sketchbook for daily drawing. Every day, she does a quick 2-minute sketch and uploads it for class. Sam said, “I’m learning how to tell stories from observing daily life. My dream job is working on a project with a position I like – animator or creature designer.”
      Sam created a self-portrait for her digital art class. She also animated a profile photo for the new school year. At The Priory, Sam was an award-winning artist. “I am thankful,” said Sam, “for supportive teachers like Ms. Donathan and Mr. Prado.”
 
Fun fact: DigiPen was founded by Claude Comair. Comair is from Lebanon, studied in Osaka, and co-founded Nintendo.
 
      Our graduates are forming great relationships with professors and students at colleges around the world, which is critical to their success. Professor Daniel Chambliss, co-author of the book “How College Works,” shared that to succeed in college, a student needs two or three friends, one or two great teachers. and a trusted mentor. Why? Relationships lead to motivation, which in turn leads to success in college. Our Priory grads are on their way!
      At one of the universities, we saw banners that said, “Where purpose unfolds” and “Potential expands.” After seeing alumnae, our hearts are filled with gratitude because our Priory young women have purpose and their potential to lead, create, and serve is unlimited!