Meet the ‘Roadtrip Nation: Hawaii’ Road-trippers!

December 9, 2016

SURPRISE: we have one last road trip happening before the end of the year, and it’s taking place in Hawaii! That’s right; this holiday season, our newest crew of road-trippers will spend a few weeks cruising around tropical islands, venturing into volcanoes, whale-watching, and most importantly, talking to their job crushes. The road trip will explore all of the amazing work taking place on the various islands of Hawaii, with a special emphasis on careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts—so basically, this trip is going to end 2016 with one heck of a mic drop.

Let’s meet our newest team of road-trippers!


Age 18
From Hilo, Hawai‘i


Roadtrip Nation: Hawaii


When Keakealani was in high school, she was chosen to attend an international technology conference—and once she’d interacted with other members of the tech community, her curiosity about the industry was solidified into a lifelong passion. As someone who was raised with a strong focus on tradition, she’s excited to tackle a field that’s constantly looking forward to the future. However, while she wants to indulge her entrepreneurial spirit, there’s a part of her that feels she should focus on settling down and starting a family—values that aren’t always encouraged within the startup world. Now a freshman at Hawai‘i Community College in Hilo, she wants to see how she can use her interests to empower her community, while also staying true to her dreams. She’s ready to take this road trip as an opportunity to remove herself from all outside expectations, and instead see where her heart will guide her.


Age 20
From Haleiwa, O‘ahu

Roadtrip Nation: Hawaii

The daughter of a high school biology teacher, Tehani has always been drawn to the sciences. As a senior in high school, she enrolled in a maritime program that taught her how to sail the open ocean using traditional Hawaiian navigational practices—guided only by the wind, sea, and stars. After seeing this custom in practice, she knew her life’s passion would be combining ancestral Hawaiian sciences with contemporary methods and technology. Currently a junior at Whitman College—where she’s majoring in environmental studies and biology—she’s torn between staying in her home state after graduation to work at the local loko i’a (a community fishpond), or leaving to attend law school in the hopes of affecting change through environmental law. She hopes this journey will introduce her to professionals from both spheres, and provide her with the guidance she needs to confidently navigate this fork in her road.


Age 22
From Hilo, Hawai‘i


Roadtrip Nation: Hawaii


Born on O‘ahu, Traven feels Hawaiian through and through. But after 18 years spent moving around the country, he lost touch with his roots and his Hawaiian mother tongue. Ultimately, most of his upbringing was spent in Homer, Alaska, where an experience volunteering for a nonprofit uncovered his passion for environmental science. But as he grew older, he started to feel something tugging him back towards Hawaii. He decided to return to his home state, where he re-immersed himself in the Hawaiian language and traditions, including the art of hula. Now, as he nears the end of his college experience as an environmental studies major at the University of Hawai‘i, he’s starting to feel the pressure of finding a steady job that he loves—but he hopes this road trip will strip away some of that stress to reveal the potential he has within.


The Roadtrip Nation: Hawaii team just completed their first interview with Dr. Misaki Takabayashi, a coral reef molecular ecologist and an associate dean at the University of Hawai‘i, Hilo. The conversation was amazing…and the scenery wasn’t too bad, either!

Roadtrip Nation: Hawaii with Dr. Misaki Takabayashi


To keep up with the rest of the team’s journey as they travel through the islands of O‘ahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i, follow the hashtag #RTNHawaii on Twitter and Instagram.

(Trust us; you’re going to want to see the pictures from this trip!)


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