For the Love of Faith

This may not exactly be about real estate but perhaps it has everything to do with real estate. You decide. At times, it just seems right to honor families. After all, that’s how we roll in Hawai`i. Each year about this time, parents and grandparents are scratching our heads wondering how our keiki could possibly be graduating high school already! After all, time does fly! By every standard, Faith Makanalani Kraus is my hero. Not only because of all she has been through in her short life but because of her maturity, perseverance, common sense, and strength of character.

new high school graduate faith

A Graduate

As a 2021 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Ke Kula ‘O Nā wahīokalani‘ō pu‘u /Hilo High, Faith began her ‘ōlelo journey at age 2. Looking back, I suppose I was not surprised when Mealoha embraced Nā wahī for her children. She had grown up bi-lingual when I was stationed in Germany. Nā wahī is an amazing school!

A Supporter

Their love and support are there for all the children each and every day. They were there for us when we were all involved in that terrible accident that took Faith’s Grandpa Miles. They were there in a big way again when her Mom became so ill and eventually lost her battle with breast cancer.

A Leader

To me, that school is a throwback to a simpler time. It is a model for every school. In the end, however, it was Faith who found the courage to face not only the difficult trials at such a tender age but somehow she was able to dig deep and find the strength to continue to thrive.

It was Faith who stepped up to running their household: cleaning, cooking, keeping track of appointments, driving her brother to wherever he needed to go. She never complained (well, maybe a little.)

I remember my first officer efficiency report. First Lieutenant Hope Gentle wrote that “I should always be the example.” Those words describe Faith to a “T.” Graduates such as Faith restore our faith in humanity. The hope they bring to us is part of the reason we have all survived these crazy times.

A Visionary

For years, Faith was leaning toward medical school but, more recently, she’s talking about becoming a third-generation Hilo REALTOR®. First things first, she’s off to college in New York. Her Grandy will miss her terribly, but we are a close ‘ohana and I know she’ll keep us in her heart.

In the meantime, Aunty Nui and I will be here holding down things on the real estate front just in case she decides to join us when she graduates college. Rest assured, every time we get in our cars to show property, we’ll think of Faith and wonder if one day she’ll continue our journey to set the example in Hawai‘i Island real estate. Whatever she decides to do in life, she will do it well. Of this, I am certain. Until then, we will all be holding her in our collective arms each and every day! Love you Faith!

Congratulations to the entire class of 2021!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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Cherie Tsukamoto

June 1, 2021

Beautiful blog about a beautiful legacy and a beautiful girl named Faith!

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B) BIC

June 3, 2021

Denise, the tears are pouring down my cheeks. What a beautiful tribute to Faith and her unforgettable mom – and indeed your entire incredible ʻohana!

Diane Chavez

June 3, 2021

Congratulations to Faith!

Vivian Ortiz

June 5, 2021

She is so beautiful and a spitting image of her mom….so proud to know her.

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