Puna grew up in Kaneohe in a family of nine. At age 7, the passing of her mother left the family with daily struggles.
Puna learned of our Queen 9 years later when she became a beneficiary. At 17, she was in a near fatal accident, but still managed to pursue her education. She went to CCH, then Southern Oregon College, and returned during her junior year to work at the Trust as a SW assistant on the Waiʻanae coast. After college, epic journeys opened up as she traveled throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa and the South Pacific. Finally coming home, she became an avid canoe steersman and a Polynesian dancer. Puna worked at Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools, before returning to our Queen as a community builder facilitator with the Kona kīpuka in 1997.