60-Second Interview: Sammye-Ann Young

This May, in celebration of Asian/Pacific American (AAPI) Heritage Month and the many generations fortifying our nation’s historical fabric and playing an important part in our future success, we’ll speak with some of Envoy’s amazing leaders to learn more about their culture and how they celebrate AAPI Heritage Month.

Let’s hear from Sammye-Ann Young who is an Envoy Customer Service Compliance Coordinator at Kona International Airport, HI (KOA).

What is your Envoy story?

I have been with Envoy Air for one year and eight months. I am the Compliance Coordinator for KOA station and in charge of Internal Control Manual (ICM), Financials and Fuel reconciliation.

What is the significance of AAPI Heritage month to you?

The significance of the AAPI Heritage month is to highlight the different ethnicity and cultures within our community. We are all taught from a young age to be proud of who we are and where we come from.

I am of Hawaiian, Chinese and Portuguese decent though I was mostly raised around my Hawaiian culture and language. I was also blessed to be able to part take in different activities and cultural events of my Chinese ancestry.

Being able to bridge that gap between people, culture and language are an important part of who we are as Pacific Islanders. When we can gather to celebrate one ethnicity, we celebrate all because that is how we were all raised.

There is a motto here in Hawaii and that is “ohana,” which means family — in a family, we learn, grow, live and love as one people.

What is your cultural background and how do you like to celebrate it?

The culture in which I am most versed in is my Hawaiian culture. I am a cultural practitioner as a “Kumu Hula” (hula teacher), and I have danced since the age of 3 and it has been 52 years since I walked into my first lesson.

I have taught my own “hula halau” (hula studio) for the past 20 years, which encompasses not just dancing but the art of making our own Implements and costume which at time can take months to create.

What advice do you have for young AAPI individuals interested in an aviation career?

I would tell the young men and women of these beautiful islands to strive for all that your “Kupuna” (ancestor/elder) wished for you. They were innovators of their time, and now it is time for you to do the same in this moment of your life.

Be someone the “Keiki o ka ʻĀina”(children of this land) can look up to and emulate. “E nānā i ka lani a moeʻuhane ma mua o kāu mau moemoeā hihiu” (Look to the sky and dream beyond your wildest dreams).

What’s one surprising fact others might not know about you?

Most people would never believe that I actually like solitude. I prefer to be home in my own world than to be out in public, being with people or performing.

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