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Mahina Bachiller '18

Special Education Educational Assistant on Pearl Harbor

Mahina Bachiller graduated from PCHS in 2018. She went on to the University of Hawaii at Manoa to complete two Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Sociology, and graduated in the spring of 2020. Currently, Mahina is working in the education field as a 3rd Grade SPED Educational Assistant on Pearl Harbor with plans to become an elementary school teacher after completing a Master's degree. She currently reside on Schofield Barracks with her husband and two fur babies, Nala and Nalu.

What type of training/education is appropriate for this position?

A Bachelor's degree (in any field, but preferably education-related) and 1 year of experience working in a school setting is required for the best compensation, but 2 years of college and no experience is also enough to be an educational assistant. To teach young kids in general, soft skills such as patience, mindfulness, creativity, and empathy are absolutely necessary.

What is one piece of advice you would give to current high school students?

Keep in touch with your friends, favorite teachers (from high school and in college), and family. You will need their support one day, and it is difficult to form contacts from scratch in an entirely new place.

What is one thing you wished you knew about your career while you were still in high school?

Kids are way more fun than I had thought! They will definitely test your patience, but I still come home smiling every day. Also, the current public education system is in dire need of teachers and support personnel, so it is a great field to make a difference in!

Other Advice/Information

Always favor your mental and physical well-being over other things. I made the mistake of sacrificing countless hours of family time and nights of sleep for the sake of a perfect college application, only to end up attending my safe choice. Do your own best, and always make time for yourself.

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