What makes KCS such a special school are the people who love this place and wholeheartedly believe in our mission. Bill and Annie Yamada, long-time members of Kaimuki Christian Church, are two such people who have supported KCS for decades. As shared last fall during the Flagpole Dedication Ceremony, Bill was instrumental in expanding KCS to a middle school in 1995-96. In February, Bill and Annie were discussing how to steward their funds when God led them to donate over half a million dollars to KCS to start a scholarship fund. Mrs. Ahn was floored by the generosity and heart behind this gift of $566,715.43, which allows KCS to start its first perpetual scholarship fund! With this amount invested, a maximum of 5% will be withdrawn each year to award in scholarships.
Parents of K-12th grade students are eligible to apply for the Bill and Annie Yamada Scholarship. Applicants should demonstrate financial need and hold a minimum GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent for elementary). A completed application via FACTS Grant & Aid must also be submitted. Our first round of scholarships will be awarded this year to families who have submitted financial aid applications. The FACTS Grant & Aid application opens again in January 2024 for the 2024-25 school year. The Yamadas hope this gift enables generations of students to attend KCS while inspiring others to give generously as well!
Next year, Kaimuki Christian Church celebrates its 100th Anniversary, a milestone occasion to reflect on what God has done through the people of Kaimuki Christian in the past century. The church and school look forward to a year-long celebration centered on "100 Years of Living and Loving like Jesus." In August, middle school and high school homerooms kicked off the anniversary year with a classroom decorating contest, drawing inspiration from this theme.
With a pizza lunch and boba up for grabs for 1st place and boba drinks for 2nd place, middle school and high school homerooms competed against one other in their respective departments. A group of judges walked through the homerooms on August 30, enjoying the creative output of each class. Doves, crosses, bulletin board displays, and garland adorned high school classrooms. Over in the McKenzie House, an interactive church service (complete with prayer, worship, sermon, and communion!), a timeline of KCC's history, and a "mannequin challenge" style presentation impressed the judges. The middle school winning class, Mrs. Holm's 8th grade homeroom, embraced the church's 100th anniversary vision of "serving and being a bigger presence, meeting the needs of others in our community and beyond" by reaching out to neighborhood businesses and stores to pray over them. They carried out their "flourish" theme through 100 blessings and prayers written on paper flowers and leaves beautifully arranged throughout the classroom.
Winners were announced during last week's upper chapel and enjoyed their prizes today. Check out our video for a highlight reel of the classroom displays, as students and staff joyfully express what the church has meant and done for its largest ministry, Kaimuki Christian School. Happy 100th Anniversary, KCC!
Throughout these challenging times, comfort can often be found through genuine relationships. For about a year and a half, a handful of married couples, who are a part of an ‘ohana group from Kaimuki Christian Church (KCC), have paired up with the class of 2022. Despite meeting only once over Zoom this school year due to COVID-19, these adults and students met every month last school year before the pandemic. ‘Ohana group members would visit the class during lunch, attend their basketball games, and communicate with the students frequently. The groups plan to restart meeting regularly over the next couple of months.
These meetings have impacted both the ‘ohana group and the students deeply. The junior class welcomes these new relationships in their lives. “Having the opportunity to talk to the fun aunties and uncles in the church group is such a blessing,” says Kamalani Aipa. Megan Hirasaki explains how the mentors “fill the room with laughter, listen closely to each of us, [and] encourage all of us when we need it most.” Not only have the 'ohana group members mentored the students emotionally, but also spiritually. Kyle Sleeper remarks that the leadership from the men in the group has helped him to “to embrace the Lord.”
Connecting these two groups together has come through fun activities and conversations. While the uncles make an effort to bring joy into the day through competitive games of charades and Pictionary, the aunties elaborate on their self-starter bands, Hillsong Worship College experiences, and their wonderful children. Caz Sands, wife of KCC Lead Pastor Bryan Sands and one of the aunties leading the group, affirms the purpose of building these new relationships, noting that their ‘ohana group “wanted to reach out to students and just encourage, mentor, and be there for them, with no agenda.” She describes her love of spending quality time with the class and deepening their relationships. Caz, as well as the other mentors, hope that the students know that they are cared for and fully supported in their walk through life.
The class of 2022 hopes that they will be able to continue meeting with the ‘ohana group until graduation, and similarly, the ‘ohana group looks forward to the day when they can meet in person with the students once again. This is a unique opportunity not only for mentorship but also for friendship. Both the adults and students are grateful for the memories they created within the group, and they pray that God grants them many more.