Maui Commencement Student Speaker

Heather Grossman

"Regardless of severe hardship, with dedication and focus, a person can always choose to move in a positive direction."


Ha‘ikū, Maui


School of Teacher Education - Elementary

Related Degrees

  • BEd, Elementary Education

Where do you work?
I am currently a Polynesian dancer with Manutea Nui E, a substitute teacher at a private school, and a bookkeeper for Fantasy Islands Activities & Tours, Inc.

How were you selected as the commencement speaker of the Maui College/University Center Maui ceremony?
Jennifer Herring, the Elementary Statewide Program Coordinator, wrote a letter of recommendation to the Chancellor of UH Maui College who selected me from all of the other recommended students.

What was the theme of your speech?
Regardless of severe hardship, with dedication and focus, a person can always choose to move in a positive direction. At any point in life, a person can decide to change. Be open with your community and unashamed of hardship or asking for help.

Why did you select the elementary statewide program?
I selected the elementary statewide program because I wanted to be a teacher. It was important, because of many challenges, to have a consistent and loving environment for my children. They needed stability. This was something that I was passionate about, could do from home, and remain dedicated to my children.

What will you remember most about your time in the program?
I will remember my classmates. We always found time to get together and have a good time. School was very challenging and we needed time to love one another outside of class. Without our close relationships, my path would have been much more challenging. They carried me through even when I thought it was impossible. We all encouraged each other. Our presentations were always a blast and more of like game-shows.

What are you future plans?
My immediate plan is to begin teaching 4th grade at an arts-integrated school. My bigger goal is to have a Bahá’í School. Students need to have a spiritual and moral foundation for the future of our society.

I'm interested in learning more about a degree or certificate in Elementary Education.

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