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Ellie Ochiai

2022 Distinguished Young Woman of Hawai'i
Scholarship - Leadership - Talent

Ellie Ochiai, 17, of Honolulu was named the 2022 Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) of Hawaii on Sunday, November 21st, 2021 and was awarded $6,000 in cash scholarships at the 63rd annual statewide scholarship program. This year’s event was a virtual digital showcase where participants were evaluated in the categories of Scholastics (25%), Interview (25%), Talent (20%), Fitness (15%) and Self-Expression (15%). 


Ellie, the daughter of Judge Dean and Rene Ochiai, won a $4,500 cash scholarship, a trip to the 2022 Distinguished Young Women National Finals in Mobile, Alabama, a 4-year tuition scholarship to Hawaii Pacific University, and wardrobe for the national finals from Jams World. Ellie also took home an additional $1000 in cash scholarship as a Talent winner for her classical violin performance, and $500 as the winner of the first Corlis J. Chang No’ono’opono Award.


Ellie will have the opportunity to win a $30,000 cash scholarship when she represents Hawaii at the end of June at the National Finals in Mobile, Alabama. In the fall, she hopes to attend the University of Washington or the University of California, San Diego.


Taylor Fukunaga, a Waipahu High School senior, was 1st runner-up and was awarded a $3,500 cash scholarship and a $12,000 HPU tuition scholarship. Fukunaga also won $1,000 in the Interview category. She is the daughter of Devin and Eunice Fukunaga of Ewa Beach.


The 2nd runner-up award went to Zoey Duan, a senior at Punahou School and the daughter of Xiansheng Duan and Shanshan Wang. Zoey won a $2,500 cash scholarship and a $12,000 HPU tuition scholarship. She also received $1,000 for her top Interview, and $500 as the Be Your Best Self essay award winner.


Naho Umitani, a Pacific Buddhist Academy senior, was the 3rd runner-up and the recipient of a $1,500 cash scholarship and a $12,000 HPU tuition scholarship. In addition, Naho won $1000 in cash scholarships as a Talent award winner, and $500 for Self Expression. She is the daughter of Toshiyuki and Yoshiko Umitani.


Fourth runner-up and the winner of a $1000 cash scholarship and a $12,000 HPU tuition scholarship was Punahou senior Christine Dong. Christine is the daughter of Liangjie Dong and Shu Liang.


Other award winners include: Kirra Phillips of ‘Iolani School, $1000 and a 4-year tuition scholarship to Hawaii Pacific University as the Top Scholar, and $500 for Self Expression; Lisa Miyazaki of Waiakea High School, $1000 as the Scholastic Award runner-up; Kiele Casillas (Kauai HS) and Brandie Tanji (Pearl City HS), $500 each for Fitness; and Jamie Cortez (Mililani HS), $500 for the Service to Others award.


DYW Hawaii is the state’s longest running scholarship program for high school senior girls, providing students opportunities to earn over $22,000 in cash scholarships, 4-year tuition scholarships to Hawaii Pacific University, and many other awards provided by local sponsors. The non-profit scholarship program, previously called Hawaii’s Junior Miss, is run entirely by volunteers, and is available to high school senior girls across the state.

Click here for an official press release:  

Punahou Senior Named 2022 Distinguished Young Woman of Hawaii

Go to our Distinguished Young Women of Hawai'i YouTube page to watch the 2022 Virtual State Finals: DYW of Hawaii YouTube Page


Ochiai, Ellie.jpg
Fukunaga, Taylor
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Duan, Zoey
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Umitani, Naho
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Dong, Christine
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Phillips, Kirra
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Miyazaki, Lisa
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Casillas, Kiele
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Tanji, Brandie
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Cortez, Jaime
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