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Kaycee "Nahe" Kawano

No Molokaʻi mai ʻo ia, he kama a Hina.

Nahe was born and raised on Molokaʻi. She is the daughter of Mark Kawano and Mikilani McGuire and is the eldest of three children.

At 12 years old, she and a female cousin of the same age were afforded the opportunity to camp the entire summer (three months) in Halawa valley with limited adult supervision, without electricity, and without seeing “top side.” Their family would come down to camp during the weekends; however, it was the girls’ kuleana to mālama the camp during the weekdays. Looking back, it seems crazy that their parents allowed it, but it was a different time and it was worth it.  It was this single experience that has taught her so many important life lessons and skills: cooking rice on the stove, learning to drive stick on a VW bug on a bumpy dirt road (which – if you can master, you are pretty much able to drive stick anywhere), laying crab traps, overcoming fears, and making lunch for the uncles so that they’ll agree to take you behind the island to swim in the Wailau River.

Nahe graduated from Molokaʻi High School, then moved and lived in Hilo for nine years. While there, she met her boyfriend of 10 years (and counting) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. In 2014, she moved home to Molokaʻi to care for her ʻohana. At home, she completed two years of the Hawaiian Learning Program and obtained a master’s degree in social work from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Nahe first served the Queen as a practicum student for Kīpuka Molokaʻi while completing her master’s degree. She worked as a school counselor at Molokaʻi High School, until she was called back to serve the Queen in 2017.