Kaimukī native Kai‘olu DeFries comes from a long line of watermen and women. She grew up on the shores of Waikīkī, swimming, paddling, and kayaking with her ʻohana.
After graduating from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama in 2015, Kai‘olu traded the warmth of the Pacific for the harsh, grey Atlantic to study Chemistry and Environmental Studies at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
She returned home following her graduation in 2019 to pursue her developing interest in the intersection between health, people, and the environment through medicine. Committed to serving her lāhui, Kai‘olu joins Papa Ola Lōkahi as an assistant to the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program.