Blogmas Day 19 | Hauʻoli Lā Hānau Ke Aliʻi Pauahi

Today and every December 19, we celebrate the life of our beautiful and life-changing Ke Aliʻi Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who was born on this day in 1831. Daughter of Abner Pākī and Laura Kōnia, Ke Aliʻi Pauahi gave everything she had for the future generations of kānaka maoli she so dearly loved. Pauahi founded the Kamehameha Schools in 1887 as a way to educate the rapidly decreasing population of Hawaiian children so that they might survive the effects of colonization and imperialism and become good and industrious members of society. She gave her entire land ownership to the Bishop Estate in order to bequeathed unto the creation of the school of which she spent so many years dreaming. Although Pauahi had no children of her own, she is our makuahine who has changed the lives of every student who attended Kamehameha. I was lucky enough to spend almost nine years at the prestigious institution meant only for kānaka maoli where I discovered a passion for music, traveled across the globe for my involvement in the arts, and met my very best friends who have become my family. Pauahi provided me and thousands of other native Hawaiian children with an irreplaceable education that would not only prepare us for future education, but was also affordable and practical. I can never mahalo Pauahi enough for making me the person I am today, but I can continue working toward becoming a good and industrious young woman so that I might make her proud.