Valedictory Speakers

Galdeira, Kyle Kalauokalani

Aloha friends, family, and fellow graduates, and thank you for allowing me this opportunity to address you on this very exciting evening.

I want to start by giving thanks to a few people who have really made my experience at HPU a positive one.

Thank you to President Wright for allowing me to attend college on a Presidential Scholarship, and for showing a genuine interest in having me here. I applied to many schools, but HPU was the only one that stepped up and made it clear that they truly wanted me here, so I am thankful to have been blessed with that opportunity.

While he has moved on to other endeavors, I would like to acknowledge my former baseball coach at HPU, Allan Sato. Coach Sato gave me the chance to fulfill my dream of playing college baseball. I remember when I tried out as a freshman he told me: “I’m going to keep you on because I want to give local boys like you a chance to succeed. But the minute you let up and stop working hard, you’re gone.” The experience proved to be one of the most memorable in my life because it represented the achievement of a dream that I had been following since I was five years old that I didn’t want to give up on even after a handful of people told me it wasn’t possible.

Of course, I need to also thank my parents, Kathy and Lyle, my sister Emma, as well as all my family and friends because without your love and support, I wouldn’t be standing here today. I would like to dedicate this speech to my Grandfather, Earl Galdeira, who passed away last year. He taught me one of my most memorable life-lessons: to greet people with a firm handshake, and a sincere look in the eye. I know that he would have loved to be here tonight, but I’m positive that he is sitting up there watching from the best seat in the house.

Now, I want to share with you some of the thoughts and wisdom of one of Hawaii’s most inspirational leaders, master navigator Nainoa Thompson.

Last week, at a departure ceremony for the Polynesian Voyaging canoe, Hokule’a, Thompson spoke about what sailing and traditional navigation means to him, and how we can all learn from his achievements.

He was preparing to embark on a five-month-long journey through the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to Japan. Thompson said that this stretch of travel includes the only area in the world where there are no Hurricane seasons: instead, the massive storms can occur at any time of the year, and the area averages six heavy storms per month. When he spoke about the daunting task ahead of him, he said: “The purpose of the voyage must be so compelling that you’re willing to do that, to understand the vision and hold it close to you, to know that you will be willing to go through this. In many ways, when we add up the five months, the 150 days we’ll be at sea, we know we’ll be in the storm, and the question is: are you ready?”

The same is true for all of us as we navigate on the voyage of life. We need to understand what lies ahead and prepare ourselves accordingly so that we may be successful in our endeavors.

HPU has trained us to navigate through the storms as we move on into our respective career paths and deeper out in the sea of life. Like Thompson and his crew, we have all spent years training and studying to reach this moment of graduation, which certifies that we are set on the right course.

To all my fellow graduates, I wish you luck in all your endeavors and hope that you continue to work hard to make the world a better place than when you entered it.

As Philippians 4:13 says, I can do all things through Him that gives me strength. So find what you want to do, work hard at it, and do the best job you can.

Mahalo for your time, and God Bless you all!