What Goes Around, Comes Around

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Celeste Guiles discovered Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through her love for science. Or maybe science found Celeste through STEM.

Celeste is not a traditional student. And she is not the typical early admissions student from high school. Celeste was home schooled and began taking classes at Kapi‘olani CC when she was only 16 years-old. Her initial classes were in English and MATH and soon after, she was introduced to chemistry and physics. STEM was destined to be part of the natural selection in her academic journey.

The eldest of three sisters, Celeste reflects on the balance of laughter, chores, and opportunities to explore interests beyond books and the Internet. She credits her parents and the sacrifices they daily make to create a warm, secure and nurturing environment for her and her sisters’ home school education. When not studying, Celeste enjoys reading adventure stories, or practicing at ballet. She considers tutoring in the STEM Center enjoyment, too.

In Spring 2019, Celeste earned an Associate in Science Degree, with an emphasis in Natural Science from Kapi‘olani CC.  As a recipient of one of ten UH Presidential Scholarships, Celeste is currently working on a Bachelors in Science Degree in Chemistry with a minor in Physics. Her hope is to graduate from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2021 and then move on to graduate school for a Masters degree in chemical engineering or materials science. Beyond that, she will look for opportunities to obtain a Ph.D. and continue to do research and to teach.

For Celeste, her achievements at Kapi‘olani did not just happen. She is infinitely grateful for the faculty and resources that have guided her work. She gives thanks to Professor Kathleen Ogata who ignited her interest in chemistry; to Professor Aaron Hanai, for making her connect calculus to the physical world; to Professor Marci Amii for helping her to better understand the importance of organic chemistry; to Professor Radovan Milincic for providing opportunities for research; and to Professor Nadine for believing in her and introducing her to the STEM Center.

Celeste states that the Kapi‘olani STEM experience has been amazing to her. “It gave me the opportunity to discover all that I love about science, and the opportunity to do research. The STEM program also gave me the chance, through tutoring, to discover that I enjoy teaching students about science. Through the STEM program, I have met people whom I admire for not giving up in school and on themselves, and people who share my enthusiasm and interest in all sorts of science. Everyone is very supportive at the STEM Center, and it really feels like a family there.”

Having somewhere to go is home. Having someone to love is family. And having both is a gift beyond measure.


‘Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten

Stitch, from Walt Disney’s, Lilo and Stitch

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