Golden Key Spotlight: Kailanianna Ablog
Meet Kailanianna Ablog! She’s a graduate of 2020 from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa where she finished with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a certification in Ethnic Studies and Korean. She was born in Hawaii but partially raised in Saipan, where her parents are originally from. Since high school she’s had an interest in leadership and in studying Korean, and has been harnessing both throughout college where she served as editor for UHM’s student newspaper and was the author for the column Ka Leo Aboard at Yonsei University’s Korean Language Institute.
Now Kailanianna has graduated, and while she continues her work as a journalist for the magazine Lady Pasifika, she is now taking a gap year to rediscover herself and get ready for graduate school. We had a little chat with Kailanianna on how feels to be graduating as a Golden Key member:
How does it feel graduating and finishing your degree at UHM?
“It feels surreal yet rewarding. It’s the moment that highlights all the hard work you’ve done to complete your degree, as well as a celebration of how far you’ve come. I’m grateful for those I collaborated with, as well as the lessons I’ve learned during my three years at UHM. I also feel better equipped to be a leader in the fields I will work in.”
What have you enjoyed about being part of Golden Key?
“My favorite part were the opportunities for volunteer work, leadership growth, and networking. For example, we’ve had workshops with our local YMCA and “Hawaii Meals on Wheels”, as well as connected with and learned about Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) culture and sustainability by volunteering at Ka Papa Lo’i O Kānewai, a lo’i (taro patch) located on UHM’s campus.”
What’s your favorite Golden Key memory from college?
“It’s difficult to choose just one, but I would say baking goods for the UHM Golden Key chapter’s fundraisers are a favorite memory of mine. My mother is a baker, and it was instilled within me at a young age that home-baked goods can bring a sense of comfort. College can be a turbulent time, and the possibility of making a fellow students’ day better through the Oreo bars, brownie cookies, or lemon matcha muffins I made, while also supporting GK, always left a smile on my face. I will miss baking in this capacity.”
What’s your advice to other GK members who have not yet graduated?
“Golden Key offers various opportunities, but what matters more is what you do about those opportunities. A quote that resonates with me comes from the movie Gladiator – “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” What we think, say, or do, no matter how small, will leave some sort of impact. Golden Key will give you the tools to improve ourselves and our communities through compassionate, ethical work – but we must be willing to take that step forward and meet those opportunities halfway. We have a lot more power than we think, and what we do is and never will be for nothing.”
This article was written for Golden Key by Julie Poulsen.