Meet the Court: Kelika Kaniaupio

Princess Kelika Kukana Kaniaupio, 18, is the daughter of Kathy Kaniaupio and the late Jeremiah Kaniaupio Sr. Carrying a 3.6 GPA, she will be a high school senior next year.

Kelika has played one school sport each season, including volleyball, basketball, swimming and track and field. She volunteers at the Safety Town event hosted by Sweet Home Junior High School at the beginning of each summer. She has volunteered at Sweet Home Emergency Ministries and the hospitality area at the Oregon Jamboree.

“I am involved in my youth group a lot,” she said. “I love it so much I try to make it every Wednesday and Sunday.”

After graduation from high school, Kelika plans to attend Linn-Benton Community College in Sweet Home to complete her basic classes and then find an art institute that will provide online classes in photography.

After she gets her degree, she says she would like to find a stable job for a couple of years and then start a family.

In her spare time, Kelika enjoys drawing or taking photographs of random things, like people, animals, trees, houses and more, she said. “Sometimes I spend time thinking about how my day went or how the next day will turn out.”

Kelika was looking for something to challenge her, to help her in the long run, she said.

“This group of girls had so much to teach one another,” she said. “It taught me how to become a much stronger leader.”

As a representative for Sweet Home, Kelika said the best thing about Sweet Home are the wonderful views around town, like Foster Lake, Marks Ridge, Gilliland Cemetery overlooking the lake and trails that are beautiful in the fall.

The city’s top selling points, she said, are Foster Lake and the Oregon Jamboree, an annual three-day camping and country music festival held at the beginning of August.

“It brings families from all over to come and hang out,” she said.