Miss Hawaii USA Kiana Yamat hopes to inspire young women | News, Sports, Jobs


Lahainaluna High School graduate Kiana Yamat is crowned Miss Hawaii USA. She wants to serve as a role model and mentor for young women interested in pursuing careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

LAHAINA — A rising star is emerging over the West Maui Mountains as Lahaina girl Kiana Yamat was named Miss Hawaii USA at the prestigious competition held Feb. 17-19 at the Ala Moana Hotel and the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.

The daughter of Mona and Ray Yamat of Lahaina, Kiana attended King Kamehameha III Elementary School, Lahaina Intermediate School and Lahainaluna High School, graduating with honors as a member of the Luna wrestling, track and field and cheerleading teams.

“Lahainaluna sports taught me discipline, leadership and teamwork skills I needed to be successful in college and in my career,” she said.

After excelling in the interview portion of the contest, Yamat was honored as the winner of the 2022 Miss Hawaii USA Pageant. She will advance to the Miss America USA Pageant later this month.

She earned a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and later worked as a design engineer in San Francisco before moving back to Hawaii to work as a construction engineer.

“My goal is to use Miss Hawaii USA’s influence to do outreach within the community, specifically targeting young women who find themselves in the same position I did when I was younger: interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) but lacking a female role model or mentor in the field. I hope to inspire young women to confidently pursue careers in male-dominated STEM fields,” said Yamat.

Today, Kiana praises and thanks her biggest fans: Dad Ray, Mom Mona and sister Breea.

“I would not be where I am today without your love and support throughout my pageant journey and in life. I love you all so much,” she said.

She also thanked Hensel Phelps Construction Company, her sole sponsor. “I am blessed to work for a company that supports me not only in my career but in my personal endeavors as well. Without their support, I could not have won the Entrepreneurship Award or had the crowd that energized me to perform my best,” Kiana added.

She also sends her heartfelt thanks out to her coaches who prepared her in all aspects of the competition; to her personal trainer, nutritionist and therapist all rolled up into one — transforming her back into the athlete she once was, losing 55 pounds the healthy way.

“I’m the healthiest, strongest and happiest I’ve ever been,” Kiana said.

“Lastly, mahalo to the Miss Hawaii USA organization and my director, Alicia Michioka, as the production of the pageant was flawless and an experience I’ll never forget. I am honored and humbled to take on the responsibilities of my new title, and I hope to make Hawaii proud as I compete at the Miss USA Pageant.”


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