Erik was born and raised in Waimanalo. He attended Blanche Pope Elementary, Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate, Kailua High School, and graduated from Myron B. Thompson Academy in 2008. He spent 2009-13 in the United States Air Force as an aerospace maintenance journeyman working on C-17A cargo aircraft with the 62d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at McChord AFB, WA.
Following his honorable discharge from the Air Force, Erik attended Windward Community College from 2013-15. While there, he took courses towards an Associate's degree in Liberal Arts. The political science courses that he took captivated his attention. He became keenly interested in learning about the Hawaii-centered content and decided that would be his major in a four year university. In addition, Erik took Hawaiian language courses which were his first steps in cultivating his Hawaiian identity.
In 2015, Erik participated in a summer bridge program for Native Hawaiian students who were transferring from two- to four-year universities. This program afforded participants room and board on campus, and a college credit from one of two classes, Erik chose Geography of Hawaii by Kumu Donovan Preza. This course focused on Kumu Preza's thesis which focused on the land division by Kauikeaouli known as the Mahele. The way of thinking Kumu Preza presented in his thesis during this course intrigued Erik. Because of this course and having an interest in the department, Erik decided to enroll in other geography courses at Manoa.
Another kumu that Erik became acquainted with during this summer program was Noe Goodyear-Kaopua. She facilitated a workshop that also showed a different way of thinking about issues. Erik would enroll in Nā Koʻokoʻo, a student leadership program headed by Kumu Noe, in the spring of 2016 that focused on an indigenous view of operating in the current political landscape. The capstone for this program was held during June 2016 on Molokai with alakaʻi Hanohano Naehu and his ʻohana at Keawanui fishpond. This week-long stay afforded Erik the privilege to see what life is like living primarily off the land. Meals consisted mainly of ulu and venison prepared in different styles everyday. Students also assisted with the cleaning and maintenance of the fishpond and surrounding lands in addition to participating in workshops with Hanohano and his hui.
When Erik began his academic career at Manoa during the fall of 2015, he quickly lost interest in political science as it was more philosophy than what-to-do in politics. In 2016, Erik changed his major to geography and took an interest in the environmental courses. Concepts that were covered included the water cycle, virtual water, carbon sequestration, and many other intensive scientific topics. These topics facilitated Erik in thinking about how all these forces affect our islands now and how they will affect us in the near and long term.
Since graduating from college, Erik has been employed in the private sector working at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Like many other residents, he works long hours to support being able to live here. After contemplating on campaigning for office in 2016 and 2018, and wanting to share his ideas with the people of Hawaii, Erik decided to campaign for office the 2020 election cycle to effect the change he wants to see as part of the Aloha ʻĀina Party. To learn more about AAP, click here. There are many topics from a wide range of schools of thought that Erik has and would like to bring forth to public office to effectively govern our islands. Please join him in his efforts by registering to vote and casting your ballot on Tuesday November 3, 2020.