Fall 2009 - Feature
A Shining Example: Miss Hawai‘i Raeceen Woolford ’03
Thirty years after ‘Iolani became co-educational, Raeceen Woolford ’03 is the first alumna to be crowned Miss Hawai‘i.
Then place a sparkling crown atop her head and, suddenly, it’s woosh! Her wow factor is magnified. As Miss Hawai‘i, she’s a role model for young and old. She is a shining example of all the good that comes out of Hawai‘i and ‘Iolani School.
Woolford was crowned at the 65th Annual Miss Hawai‘i Scholarship Pageant on June 27 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. She now serves full time as an official Ambassador of Aloha, participating in community events of all shapes and sizes, locally and beyond. The biggie, of course, will be the Miss America Scholarship Pageant on January 30, 2010, in Las Vegas.
“At the Miss America Pageant, it will be about doing my very, very best to represent the state, from the great people to the culture, when I perform my talent of hula,” Woolford says.
The ‘Iolani community is already very proud of this young woman who played varsity basketball, was co-captain of the volleyball team, and was coached by the late Ann Kang for three seasons. Woolford went on to play college volleyball as a University of Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine for five seasons.
Academically, Woolford was on the ‘Iolani Headmaster’s List. At UH, she made the Dean’s List, earned her bachelor’s degree in health sciences, and hopes to eventually go to medical school.
“My education at ‘Iolani prepared me for UH, especially learning how to manage my time, handle responsibility and really develop my love for athletics,” she adds.
A triathlete and health enthusiast, Woolford has surfed since she was 10 and also enjoys coaching. She has coached volleyball for the Girl Scouts of America Women in Sports Day and the Wahine Volleyball Camp for girls ages 8 to 14.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann ’72, right, recently presented a proclamation to Miss Hawai`i Raeceen Woolfored ’03.
To stay fit, she maintains a balanced diet, practices yoga, Pilates, and other outdoor sports such as stand up paddling and walking. She prefers fresh air and sunshine over indoor gyms and treadmills.
Yet while the duty of representing the state as Miss Hawai‘i is enormous, one of the defining moments in her life came when her younger brother and sister, who are twins, were born. She took on the responsibility of being a big sister, helping to care for two babies at one time.
Another life lesson came when she entered the Miss Hawai‘i Scholarship Pageant in 2008 and finished as third runner up.
“At the Miss America Pageant, it will be about doing my very, very best to represent the state, from the great people to the culture, when I perform my talent of hula,”“I think not winning was the best thing that could’ve happened to me,” she says in retrospect. “It just wasn’t my time, and from that experience I was able to come into the new competition with a refreshed sense of who I am. From last year to this year, the most important thing I’ve learned is to be myself, to be comfortable with who I am and just be convinced that knowing myself is really the key to success.”
Part of being Miss Hawai‘i and entering the Miss America Scholarship Pageant means raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. A fundraiser for Woolford will be held in January before she leaves for Las Vegas and the national spotlight.
She has already become the first alumna to be named Miss Hawai‘i with the ‘Iolani spotlight and a vast cheering section rooting her on.
Comments from Readers
With her humility,intelligence, talent and beauty, I think Raeceen not only represents Hawaii well now but she will shine brightly in the Miss America Pagaent.