Stacie ’10 & Julie Lee: Paying it Forward

Christina Yasutomi

Stacie '10, left, and Julie Lee, right. Photo courtesy of Stacie Lee. 

Looking for a school that would instill Christian values and provide a well-rounded education for their daughter, the Lee family found HBA.

“From our first Kindergarten interview with Mr. Tim Kaneshiro ’70, we knew HBA was the right fit for Stacie ‘10. HBA met all of our expectations and we valued the love and support we received from the faculty and staff throughout her 13 years there,” shares Stacie’s mother, Julie Lee.

“Looking back, high school really was a great time in my life. I think it’s because I took advantage of the opportunities that HBA had to offer, such as working part time at the elementary school as an after-school care leader, being a part of our class council, and participating in the Cross Country and Track and Field teams,” reminisces Stacie. “My senior year was probably the most memorable. For example, our 4x400 track team finished third in the state championship meet, our class council planned events such as a huge slip-n-slide at Kakaako, and the neighbor island trips for running meets were always a blast. I have to say, the main reason why I enjoyed it so much was the friendships I’ve made at HBA.”

Over the years, there have been many teachers and staff who have influenced Stacie’s life, like fourth grade teacher Mrs. Karen Iseri. Iseri who would always check up on Stacie throughout high school and give her honest advice. Stacie looked up to her as someone who was genuine and rooted in Christ. To this day, Stacie and her mother continue their friendship with Iseri.

During her senior year at Hawaii Baptist Academy, Stacie was awarded the O.W. “Dub” Efurd Memorial Scholarship at the school’s annual scholarship awards ceremony. Little did she know then that this gift was a blessing that would lead to a cycle of reciprocity nine years later.

“We were surprised and honored when Stacie was awarded the Efurd scholarship in 2010. College is a huge investment and having this scholarship gave us peace of mind financially. The Efurd’s also gifted a book with a handwritten letter, which gave the award such a thoughtful and personal touch. The scholarship was a small fraction of what a four-year university costs, but it was such a blessing to be awarded it,” said Julie Lee.

Filled with gratitude, Stacie and Julie decided they would one day pay it forward and bless another family. The scholarship not only helped the Lee family financially, but it displayed the power of God’s love through the Efurd’s example.

After graduating from HBA, Stacie attended Seattle University and received her degree in nursing. She has been working as a registered nurse at Harborview Medical Center Level I trauma center in Seattle. This past year, Stacie has also been serving as a travel nurse in Los Angeles, California.

Through prayerful consideration, Stacie and her mother decided it was the right time to give back by establishing a family scholarship to help a graduating senior. In April 2019, Chansen Oshiro ’19 was named the first recipient of the Stacie ‘10 and Julie Lee Scholarship to help defray the cost of college tuition. Oshiro is currently a Freshman at the University of Las Vegas Nevada studying engineering.

“The advice I wish to share with current students is to take advantage of opportunities that are offered to you, especially the ones that are outside of your comfort zone. It’s so easy to push back ideas and say, ‘One day I’ll get to it’ or ‘I’ll get to it later’. The Bible tells us to love others, and it takes a lot of work sometimes, but we are called to put action behind those thoughts and ideas and do it now, not later.”

Chansen Oshiro '19, left, with Julie Lee in May. Oshiro is the first recipient of the Stacie '10 and Julie Lee Scholarship.