Lee Anne Dela Cruz '94 amongst the first graduating classes of Assets High School
We caught up with Lee Anne Dela Cruz '94, formerly known as Lee Anne Kauwenaole, to hear how Assets School empowered her on a journey of helping others.
When did you graduate from Assets School?
How long did you attend Assets School?
I first attended Assets school when it was on base and initially went for two years, seventh and eighth grade. At this point, they didn’t have a high school yet. Then I returned as they were opening the high school in my junior year and then I graduated.
The first Assets High School graduation was in 1993 with one student. You were in the first group of students to graduate from the High School in 1994. What was that like? How was it special?
It was like any graduation, but it was special because we were the first group. We got to graduate on the playground! We were the class that started to lay the foundation for other students. Ha! Ha!
We recently posted your Class of 1994 photo on our social media. Tell us what happened after it was posted.
It really brought back a lot of memories and just to see how far we have come. It has been a while since I saw that picture. Our class photo was on Facebook and Instagram to let alumni know of December 16 alumni luncheon. My fellow 1994 classmate commented on the photo, and so did I. After we saw the invite on Facebook, we decided to attend the alumni luncheon!
Being a small class it was junk that we never really had any kind of reunion or get-together like most classes do. I hope we can bring more of our class to the next alumni event.
After Assets, what school did you attend?
I graduated from Assets, and I just started working. School was an option. I had money from the jobs I worked at but I never went to school for some reason.
Since graduating from Assets School, what have you been up to?
I have been working. I got married 19 years ago, and I have two children who are now graduated and are in college.
What is the most surprising thing that happened to you recently?
My son and daughter-in-law will be having my first grandson this October.
Where do you work now, and what do you do?
I am currently working at Kaiser Permanente in the contact center. I work at the Call Center as an agent/appointment registration clerk, and I have been here for almost a year. Previously, I came from another medical center. I like working at Kaiser because it is much closer to home and less stressful. An average day at my job is about 90-100 phone calls.
What inspired you to get into your current job/path?
I first got into healthcare because I love helping people, and it’s a lot to learn. I mainly just wanted to be able to help people.
What interests you the most about your work?
Every day is something new.
How did Assets prepare you for your career? What are some of the lessons you learned at Assets School that you still use to this day?
Having to work hard was one of the life-long lessons I learned at Assets School. My last year I had a few credits that I needed to make up to graduate, and I was able to do that and graduate. I also was able to learn how to comprehend what I am doing.
What are some of your favorite memories of Assets School?
I liked some of the classes like art and stained glass. I represented Assets in paddling on a PAC-5 team.
What kind of mentorships did you have at Assets School?
I know we had some because I remember having to leave the school but I don’t remember which one I had. I know it probably had to do with customer service. I think I went to a print company. I know it just taught me to follow directions, be teachable and work hard.
What impact did Assets School have on you?
I think I might cry, but I think because I had a hard time. A lot of time it was my behavior. I liked the smaller class size. The teachers were a big impact on me like Miss Sandi (Tadaki). I had at the time Mr. Black, Dr. Earle and Miss McCandless. It was just small. It's totally different from back then till now. Nothing was really set in stone. So I don't know why I'm so emotional. People would ask me where you're from. They never knew about the school. Now it's big everybody knows Assets. I wasn't afraid to say what school I came from. Being in the first graduating class that's big!
What do you like to do for fun?
I really just enjoy spending time with my children and family. I like taking trips to Lāna’i to visit my aunt. I don’t have much time because I work two jobs. I'm also a part-time clerk at Longs. But when I do I like just spending time and learning about my family and its history.
What’s next for you personally or professionally?
Being a Lala (grandmother) and enjoying my family and staying at Kaiser is where I would stay and try to move my way up in Kaiser Permanente.
Click here to watch Lee Anne share about what impact Assets had on her.