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Outstanding on so many levels


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Because Amee Hi’ilawe Neves of Waiʻanae excels in the classroom and community, she successfully walked a clearly envisioned career path at UH Mānoa with tenacity and grace. It started in 2020, when she graduated as a Waiʻanae High School (WHS) Class valedictorian. In 2022, in only her sophomore year in college, the Journalism major was named solo host-anchor of a new four-hour livestream at the popular Mānoa Experience open house, which drew thousands of attendees.

Now, in Spring 2024, as she earns her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Neves has been named CSS Outstanding Graduating Senior for epitomizing the College’s core values of scholarship, leadership and service.

“I’m so proud to represent Hawaiian journalists everywhere and show that we have a place in journalism,” said Neves, 21. “I devote all of my work to telling accurate and authentic Hawaiian stories. Community engagement is a big part of my life, so everything that I’ve done has been focused on giving back to the community that raised me.”

Neves has garnered multiple accolades while at UH Mānoa. In 2022, she was the first Native Hawaiian to receive the joint Native American Journalists Association/Asian American Journalists Association’s Pacific Islander Journalism Scholarship. She has written for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ newspaper, Ka Wai Ola, and been published in the Honolulu Civil Beat news website covering Hawaiian affairs this legislative session. She has also been active with CSS Digital Studios, and has created promotional videos on student-centric topics.

But perhaps one of her most enduring contributions to the field may be creating a ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi style guide for CSS future journalism students. “I hope this will not only help boost the number of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi speakers, but share information about diacritics, Hawaiian place names and the importance of our language,” said Neves. “I believe this is just one of many steps in building UH Mānoa into a true Indigenous place of learning.”

She has also been giving back to her Waiʻanae alma mater and community. Since her first semester at CSS, Neves has been working as a teaching assistant at WHS’s Searider Productions’ video production class. In addition, she loves talking about college with the high schoolers, sharing her own experiences in overcoming setbacks and demystifying the rigors of college life.

Basically, she lets them know that someone is always in their corner, no matter what happens in life. “I am a storyteller at heart but, more importantly, I want to help people write their stories,” said Neves. “Although my engagement takes me right back into the high school classroom, there is no place I’d rather be than there.”

Additional news stories from the College of Social Sciences.

Neves Gradphoto Headshot
Amee Hi'ilawe Neves