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A smile that makes you feel better

_MG_1388 By Kaleo Gagne
Ka La staff
Imagine you’re not feeling well on campus. You think might have a temperature, and end up in the health office on campus. As you walk into the door, you are greeted with a smile and a sweet empathetic hello. That alone starts to make you feel better. You ask yourself who is that girl?
She’s Jovi Lavaro, 32, raised in Kalihi and a student worker in health office at Honolulu Community College.
Lavaro has many leadership roles in the health office. She is one of the people behind the scenes who plans the Great Aloha Run and arranges for the American Red Cross to come to our school and have blood drives on campus.
“I think her name says it all,” said Lorri Taniguchi, a registered nurse who heads the HonCC health office. “When you think of Jovi, you think of the word jovial. She exhumes enthusiasm. When she is on the phone, people on the other line can see her smile.”
Lavaro was a medical assistant for seven years for a plastic surgeon. Because of her passion and love for people, he then decided to come to Honolulu Community College to pursue her goal to one day become a Emergency Room Registered Nurse. Due to a saturation of nurses in the medical field, after her graduation in spring 2014, Lavaro’s next step will be going to Kapiolani Community College where she will be taking classes in the paramedics program, which will give her the experience she needs to apply for nursing school.
With all of her hard work in the health office and in class, Lavaro takes time to relax by spending time with her family, journaling and volunteering to take care of the keiki at church. Her faith in God is what keeps her motivated and pursuing her future goals, she said.
Lavaro said her experience at HonCC and the health office has given her some insight into what students need most: “Make positive friends,” she said. “You need people to help you get through your schooling, and study hard.”