Q & A with Trustee Robert Nobriga

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Photo by Mehana Lee

The newest Trustee of Kamehameha Schools, Mr. Robert Nobriga, comes back to his home island and visits the Maui campus for the first time.

By Mehana Lee, news editor

Newest trustee of Kamehameha Schools, Mr. Robert Nobriga, made his first official visit to the KS Maui campus on Friday, January 25. Trustee Nobriga attended the high school’s morning chapel service honoring founder Charles Reed Bishop. During the service, Trustee Nobriga addressed the student body, along with Chief Executive Officer Dee Jay Mailer and Po’okula Lee Ann DeLima.

Afterward, he spoke to Ka Leo o Nā Koa, about what he hopes to accomplish while in service to KS:

Q: What is something you are looking forward to most while serving your term?

A: I mean there’s so much to do. I mean for us, we are working on planning the course for the next 15 years for the organization. So, that’s kind of at the core of the work that we’ll be doing: the strategic plan. Through working and developing the strategic plan, we can make some decisions on how we can make sure that Kamehameha [Schools} has the biggest impact on Hawaiian families. I’m excited about that.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish while working with Kamehameha Schools?

A: It goes back to making sure that Kamehameha [Schools] can make a big impact on Hawaiian families. For me, Kamehameha [Schools] really transformed my family. It allowed my mom to get an education to better her life, and she was able to guide us–me and my younger brother. Kamehameha [Schools] changed our lives, too. So I want to make sure that we can perpetuate that to the future, we can improve our reach, improve our impact, so that other families can experience what my family experienced. 

Q. What is something you hope to change or create during your term?

There was such a solid foundation that was laid by the prior trustees, and Dee Jay [Mailer] and her team have done such good work to bring stability to the organization. I’m looking forward to just building on that…There isn’t really anything specific, but at this point, we just need to go through the process of educating ourselves and understanding how we can improve. Then, take it from there. 

Q. How does it feel to come back to your home island, Maui, to see a Kamehameha School established here?

A. Awesome. When I was going to school, the Maui campus wasn’t built yet, so I had to leave my home when I was in seventh grade. I had to live in the dorms and leave my family. It was heart wrenching for me, but I knew that I had to because the opportunity was so great. When I stand here and look at all the students, I feel so happy and so excited for everybody because they have this great resource, and can also be around their family. For me, It’s really motivating and awe inspiring to be here and see this beautiful campus. I’m just proud because Maui is still my home.