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Cosette Wu

2021 Distinguished Young Woman of Hawai'i
Scholarship - Leadership - Talent

Cosette Wu, 18, of Honolulu was named the 2021 Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) of Hawaii on Sunday, December 6th, and awarded $7,500 in cash scholarships at the 62nd annual statewide scholarship program. This year’s event was a digital showcase where participants were evaluated in the categories of Scholastics (25%), Interview (25%), Talent (20%), Fitness (15%) and Self-Expression (15%).


Cosette, the daughter of Samuel Wu and Kristen Lee, won a $4,500 cash scholarship, a trip to the Distinguished Young Women National Finals, a 4-year tuition scholarship to Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), and wardrobe for Nationals from Jams World.


Cosette also took home additional cash scholarship sof $1,000 each as the Top Scholar, as an Interview awardee, and as a Talent winner for her classical piano performance. Cosettewill have the opportunity to win a $30,000 cash scholarship when she represents Hawaii in June at the National Finals in Mobile, Alabama. In the fall, she hopes to attend Harvard College.

Sophia Stark of Honolulu, was 1st runner-up and was awarded a $3,500 cash scholarship and a $12,000 HPU tuition scholarship. Stark also won $1,000 for an Interview award, and $500 each for the Fitness and Be Your Best Self Essay awards. Sophia is the daughter of Darel and Georgine Stark, and is homeschooled.

The 2nd runner-up award went to Ellie Sampson, a senior at Punahou School and the daughter of Jeffery Sampson and Shizuho Omori. Ellie won a $2,500cash scholarship and a $12,000 HPU tuition scholarship. She also received a $500 Self Expression award.


Jiana Abela Nakashima, a Mililani High School senior, was the 3rd runner-up and the recipient of a $1,500 cash scholarship and a $12,000 HPU tuition scholarship. In addition, Jiana won $500 each in cash scholarships for her Fitness and Self Expression awards. She is the daughter of Wayne and Kim Abela Nakashima.


Other award winners include: Alyse Glaser, Sacred Hearts Academy - $1,000 Scholastic runner-up; Isabella Gismundo-Hook, Mililani High School - $1,000 Talent award for her color guard performance.

Click here for an official press release:  

Punahou Senior Named 2021 Distinguished Young Woman of Hawaii

Go to our Distinguished Young Women of Hawai'i Facebook page to watch the 2021 Virtual State Finals: DYW of Hawaii Facebook Page


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