The right learning environment nurtures students’ drive to succeed. DTRIC Insurance President and 1977 alumna Michele Saito can attest to how her time at Maryknoll School helped her find her leadership voice.
Saito gives kudos to the passionate staff who challenged her to achieve excellence in her classes and encouraged her to join extracurricular activities. She participated in many organizations and club activities such as bowling, serving as co-editor of the yearbook.
“The teachers are incredible. There’s just so much support! They really spend their energy and attention on making sure that we all become the best we can be,” Saito says. “I look back at that and I’m very grateful because I do think it builds a lot of self-confidence. It sends you on this process of getting to know yourself better so when you get out there in the real world you know a little bit more about yourself.”
Through engaging classes and a variety of extracurricular activities, she discovered her strengths, including excellent organizational skills and with her ability to work well with others.
“When it comes to helping students find their passion, Maryknoll helps them find out what they’re good at, what they’re not good at, and I think that helps students when they’re looking for a career,” Saito says. “Maryknoll helped shape me, who I am in life and who I am as a leader in my job.”
To this day, Maryknoll’s motto, Noblesse Oblige, which means, “to whom much is given, much is expected,” captures values that she says hit close to home.
“I am a big believer in giving back to the community and giving back to others. I think that’s so important especially in a community like Hawaii,” she says. “That’s something that is very strong in me today, and I would imagine it comes from my family and from being at the school for 13 years.”