Our Diamonds in the Rough is a scholarship program developed by the Rotary Club of Metropolitan Honolulu for underserved and underfinanced high school seniors with promise and potential in their years ahead. They are typically students that could greatly benefit from attending community college or university, but are not in the “top tier” sought by other scholarships available. Many are the first in their family to attend college.  Our scholarship program continues, with up to 3 students awarded annually.

Our recipient in 2003 was no exception. Kaulike Kalama, a McKinley High School senior was raised by his grandmother who inspired him to apply to college.  He wrote in his essay that his goal was to become a policeman or fireman as he had a “sense of doing right things.” With his scholarship of $2500, he attended Honolulu Community College for the Administration of Justice Program.

Officer Kalama’s career was tragically cut short as he was slain along with fellow officer Tiffany Enriquez while on duty in what is locally known as the “Diamond Head Fire.”  Our club, lead by Metro Rotarians Alan Hayashi and Gloria Chang were inspired to memorialize Kaulike’s original  essay.  This picture is a presentation to Officer Kalama’s son Kaumana of this essay framed.  This was done at HPD headquarters, flanked by Kaulike’s uncle, a police officer and his guardian, Chief Susan Ballard, current Metro President Gwen Pacarro and Gloria Chang.  Our hope is that this essay will provide insights for Kaumana about his father at his age, and guidance in the future at times of critical decisions in his life.