Big Island Resident Wins National Jenny Jones “Meet Your Heroes” Contest

Big Island resident Kehaulani Costa was recently awared $5,000 in the Jenny Jones Meet Your Heroes Contest.

Kehaulani “Kehau” Costa is a working mom with four young boys ages 12, 8, 6, and 4 months. She works full time as the office administrator at Malamalama Waldorf School in Keaau, Hawaii, a small Pre-K through 8th grade school in one of the most economically disadvantaged districts in Hawaii. Malamalama means “Light of Knowledge” in the Hawaiian language. Kehau’s goal is to start a music program at the school where all the children can learn to play the ukulele. “The ukulele is such a beautiful instrument and is very unique to Hawaii,” she wrote in her application. “When a child learns to play the ukulele, they also learn about Hawaii’s language, culture and spirit of aloha.”

Kehaulani will use the $5,000 to purchase 30 ukuleles, hard-shell cases, and music books so students can learn about Hawaii’s music, language, & culture.

This is what Jenny Jones said today about contacting Kehaulani about her winning notification:

I was able to make a surprise phone call to Kehau thanks to School Board President, Eric Cox, and fellow employee, Veda Soberman. They had assembled all the students outdoors for a pep rally for their annual walk-a-thon to raise money for the school and I called in during the assembly. Kehau was surprised when I asked for her and she asked me if I was really Jenny Jones. Then I gave everyone the good news to a big round of applause from all the students. Kehau told me that special people like me are called “aunties” and then had all the children give me a big “Aloha!”

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