2007 Graduate – Jessica Miller
Aiea is a town located in Honolulu County, Hawaii. The people of Aiea pronounce it “I-ayuh”.
Some residents of Aiea claim that their town is the only town in the world spelled entirely with vowels.
Aiea was originally the name of an ahupuaa, or Hawaiian land division. It stretched from Aiea Bay (part of Pearl Harbor) into the mountains to the north. At the end of the 19th century, a sugar cane plantation was opened in the district by the Honolulu Plantation Company.
As Aiea has several miles of shoreline on Pearl Harbor, the focus of the 7 December 1941 attack by the Japanese on military installations there greatly impacted the town. For example, one damaged ship, the USS Vestal, beached at Aiea Bay to prevent sinking. Many photographers photographed the battle from the hills in Aiea.
After World War II the plantation shut down and the mill was converted into a sugar refinery. Meanwhile, developers started extending the town into the surrounding former sugar cane fields. In the years since then, Aiea has grown into an important suburb of Honolulu. The town’s sugar history came to a close in 1996, when C&H Sugar closed the refinery. Then in 1998, the 99-year old sugar mill was torn down by the owners, amid protests from town residents and the County government.
All areas of Hawaii are served by public schools of the Hawaii Department of Education. Specifically, Aiea is served by Aiea High School, Aiea Intermediate School, and five elementary schools. Our featured graduate for this month did not do well in the government run schools. In fact, Miss Jessica Miller simply stated “The schools were terrible!” Jessica and her parents began an exhaustive search for an alternative to the peer pressure pact public school system. Once they found Citizens’ High School, they knew they had found the alternative.
Citizens’ evaluated Jessica’s transcripts from other schools and determined she needed half of the 11th grade and all of the 12th‘s requirements to earn a diploma. Jessica was more than motivated and completed all requirements in only six months. She did this while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. Our Miss Miller changed her life around for the better. She went from a public high school student in danger of not matriculating to a college student studying zoology.
Jessica’s future plans include traveling the globe. Her successes are many. We are confident she will have many more. She currently enjoys swimming in the beautiful Hawaiian waters. On your next vacation to the Hawaiian Islands look for Jessica. She won’t be hard to find. She will be the one with an air of confidence and a goal.
Jessica Miller is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for April 2007.