Alani Jamile is a freshman at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa where she is enrolled in the Honors Program studying Travel Industry Management. To help cover her living expenses, she works 15-20 hours a week as a front desk agent at the Waikiki Aquarium. So not only is she studying tourism in the classroom, she is experiencing it firsthand through her job at the Aquarium.
“We work so hard to make visitors happy but I often wonder about the impact of tourism on local communities. Is tourism benefiting the people who call this home and how do they make ends meet, when wages are so low and the cost of living is so high? I just learned about tax credits and I am so encouraged by how they could help people like me.”
As a working college student, Alani feels the heavy burden of the taxes that are taken out of her relatively small pay check. She feels the crunch on her time, juggling her part-time job and trying to excel in school. But even though she is already stretched thin, she is trying to figure out how to squeeze in another job that will allow her to realize her goals while still meeting her immediate needs: to graduate on time (she can’t afford a fifth year of college), have food on the table, and have something saved up in case of emergencies. Reducing the amount of taxes that are taken out of every paycheck could go a long way towards meeting these needs. And she knows there are many other students who are in the same situation.
“I hope our elected representatives will support the tax credits that can help students like me graduate on time and become the leaders of the future that the community needs. We want to help contribute when our turn to lead comes. Tax credits will help us on our journey to becoming useful, contributing members of society.”