Nikki Senter graduated in 1989 and is the mother of senior Sydney Senter. Nikki is the senior assistant counsel for Howard Hughes Corporation where she oversees legal development matters at Ward Village.
Before her current position as senior assistant, Senter had her own law firm where she was responsible for all aspects of running a business, including staffing, administration, billing, insurance, and payroll. After her experience as a sole proprietor, God opened another door for her to work for Howard Hughes Corporation.
Senter works with the corporation’s development groups to plan what they envision Ward Village to look like in the future. Within their master plan, the group initiates smaller projects such as building residential condominiums and developing parks and roadways to expand Ward Village. Senter assists in the strategic planning and legality of these projects. She is responsible for handling legal documents to get grounds cleared, creating and selling condos, registering projects with the state to sell registrations and licenses, and working with agencies and buyers.
Here is our Q&A with Nikki about her experiences at Hawaii Baptist Academy:
When did your journey begin and what do you remember about your first year attending HBA?
I started at HBA in the 7th grade and I was really nervous going to a new school. But, I remember how warm the administrative staff and the teachers were and it really made that first year at a new school very comfortable.
What is one of your favorite memories at HBA?
One of my favorite memories about HBA was going to camp every year. It gave you an opportunity to really spend quality time building your faith and your relationship with God and especially getting to know and get really close with your classmates.
How do you feel HBA prepared you for life?
HBA prepared me for life by giving me a strong foundation. Not only a hard work ethic and believing in myself professionally, but also with a strong faith, good morals and ethics, and the security to go out into the world knowing I have the right tools to be successful.
Are there any particular person(s) at HBA that impacted you as a student?
One teacher who made a big difference in my experience at HBA and who I remember very fondly is Mrs. Wong. She was our Bible teacher, but the neat thing about Mrs. Wong is her teaching style. She never treated us like students that she was giving a lecture to. She always involved us in discussion and questioned things to make us think deeper and understand more.
Why did you decide to send your daughter to HBA?
We decided to send our daughter to HBA because I knew she would be in a nurturing, supportive environment with a lot of opportunities for her to try different things and to develop a relationship with God. Sydney started HBA in kindergarten and she was that child that never spoke. She was extremely introverted and shy and HBA just brought out the best in her. She has become a very secure woman and now that she’s a senior and it’s clear how she was really able to get so much support from the school in whatever she did. She was involved in student government, she is an athlete outside the school in a sport, and even though it’s not for the school, the school has been extremely supportive of her goals and her dreams, and as a parent, you couldn’t ask for more. Syd is what I hoped she would be coming out of HBA.
How has HBA been successful in cultivating community leaders?
The success of the alumni is truly a result of the school and the education we got there and the foundation we received. Alumni who have kids who attend HBA know your child is going to get a great education, they are going to feel safe, cared for and loved. These are some of the things that create the foundation that help community leaders to become successful.
What makes HBA special?
What’s special about HBA is the size of the school. The administration and the teachers are able to get to know each student on a one-on-one basis and know what that student needs to thrive there. Whether it be more academic help or encouragement, HBA is great at figuring that out and helping students develop their full potential.