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Aloha kakou — I am Joy Saleapaga and I am currently the Miss Hawaiian Islands representing the beautiful islands of Hawaii.

My parents are Joy and Gataivasa Saleapaga. I have one older sister, Kelly Robertson (27) who is married to Filipo Robertson with 3 beautiful children (Benjamyn-Tristan, Brandyn-Jaycub and Brehze-Joilyne) and a younger brother, Jordan Saleapaga (20).

I am of Samoan ancestry, who was born and raised in California and now building a home in Hawaii on the island of O'ahu. I attended California High School in Whittier, CA. graduating in 2004.

After high school, I attended Fullerton College, where I played Basketball and was a member of the Track and Field team, graduating with an AA in Liberal Studies in 2007. Following Fullerton College I was blessed with a scholarship and attended the University of Hawaii-Manoa from 2007-2009, majoring in Psychology and being a member of the Women's Track and Field team.

Following graduation, Fall of 2009, I opened a new chapter in my life. I met, my now fiance, Brashton Satele and also started my career as a Flight Attendant for Hawaiian Airlines.

Although I was born in California, raised in a Samoan household and now residing in Hawaii away from my family, Hawaii is now my new home. It is my prayer that one day I can be an inspiration to young girls to pursue their dreams. Through prayer, faith and family support it is possible to achieve anything you put your mind to.

My ultimate goal is to leave an imprint in the lives of those around me so that one day my story, my experiences, struggles and tears can be used as stepping stones for the upcoming generation to become bigger and better, just as my ancestors have done for me.

Joy was the first contestant to arrive in Pago Pago coming in on last night's flight (Thursday, Nov. 29) and was welcomed by Miss American Samoa Arrielle Maloata and the local Miss South Pacific Pageant organizing committee.

The reigning Miss South Pacific Alisi Rabukawaqa is scheduled to arrive in Pago Pago over the weekend with week long activities beginning Dec. 2.
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