This month’s interview is with someone who I’ve seen grow immensely over the past year, going on two years. Skyler started off as one of the students at Epic (New Hope Leeward’s high school ministry) and is now a leader in Epic and In The Mix (New Hope Leeward’s junior high ministry). Although Skyler is younger than me, I look up to him in so many ways. I admire how he loves God and how he uses that love to pour into our next generation.
Get to know Skyler a little more…
If you could change your name, what would you change it to and why?
There’s two that I’d choose.
The first one is Scottie. Because countless times when I introduce myself as Skyler they reply, “Oh, hey, Scottie, nice to meet you.” Or baristas write Scottie on my coffee cup. Maybe I’m just really bad at pronouncing my own name.
The second one is Roger. Because Roger sounds like Raja. Roger means: Your message has been received and understood. So people will be like, “Roger, Roger.” Like a droid from Star Wars.
What are your least favorite colors and why?
Fuchsia, because it’s like a really weird mix between pink and purple. I can’t stand seeing girls with Fuchsia colored lipstick, I’m not sure why.
What simple things in life do you enjoy the most?
Coffee, going for swims at the beach, and just watching movies with my family or friends.
If you could only have one meal everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Dinner, because I have a really hard time falling asleep when I am hungry.
If you could trade places with any superhero, who would you choose and why?
I don’t know. Every superhero has a super depressing backstory. Maybe Batman. No super powers, but, he is the richest man in the DC universe, really smart, knows a bunch of different fighting styles, trained and raised all of the Robins.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Your value doesn’t come from other people.
Stop staying up past one o’clock.
What is something that you can’t live without?
My family and Jesus. They give my life meaning. Also, brownies.
How do you deal with failure?
Not well. I grumble and look down on myself for a bit. I throw a pity party. Sometimes, I have the determination to bounce back, a lot of the time I’m too scared and uncertain to step forward until I get some assurance from someone else.
Who is someone you look up to and why?
My grandma, Teresita Dela Cruz. She came to Hawaii from the Philippines when she was 24, and worked hard to get through college. She lost her first son, Reggie, when he was just a baby. My grandpa, Ben, had a brain aneurysm and was a vegetable for 10 years until he passed. She took care of her husband while raising my mom and my uncle Clifford. She’s been taking care of us our whole lives. My family and I are still living in her house because of our financial situation and my brother Zavier having leukemia. She still works 40 plus hours a week as a nurse’s aid, yet she still manages to give us unconditional love, even though we bring so much stress into her life. She is the definition of selfless.
When you’re gone, what do you want people to remember about you?
That I was a friendly, loving, and humble servant of God.
Think of yourself one year ago. How have you changed over the past year?
I am more conscious and aware of both my flaws and my potential. I have a clearer focus of where I am going.
What is the best decision you’ve ever made?
Accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
How/what do you hope to change within the next year?
I want to be able to die to myself more. So that I can fight my laziness and procrastination, and in return, be more productive, and so that I can serve and love on others more.
What do you think is the best quality someone can have?
Friendly. You destroy your enemies when you make them your friend. I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
What do you look forward to within the next 10 years?
Answering this question: Who am I? I want to learn more of who God is and who He has created me to be. I want to discover hidden talents and passions. What am I really into? I know my identity in Him, now I want to know why I am unique. Who I am deep down inside and who I am becoming. I plan on tapping into the potential that has been placed in me. And, I really just want to go experience life for myself.
Skyler is one of the most humble and hardworking people I’ve met, and for someone his age, he’s definitely wise beyond his years. He has so many things ahead of him and I’m excited I get to be along side him as God continues to work through him.