Some college students simply go to class and go home. Not Antonio Bonnetty.
This Chaminade University undergraduate is double majoring in Environmental Studies and Criminology and Criminal Justice, he runs cross country for the Silverswords, he represented Chaminade Athletics at a leadership retreat, he’s involved in Campus Ministry, he’s part of the Hogan Entrepreneurs Program, and in his spare time he’s into slam poetry, hiking and Xbox One gaming.
A double scholarship winner, Bonnetty also plans to join the Peace Corps, become an environmental law attorney and possibly pursue an FBI career.
“I have been very blessed at Chaminade thus far and have taken part in many opportunities as a result,” said Bonnetty, a “military brat” from Mississippi whose family moved to Oahu during his junior year of high school.
Despite suffering from scoliosis, Bonnetty was a standout athlete at Moanalua High School, where he competed in track, wrestling and football. At Chaminade, his cross country team named him last year’s “Most Inspirational Runner.”
“I fell in love with Hawaii,” said Bonnetty, who graduated from Moanalua in 2015. “I knew since I was going to college, I wanted to stay here. I actually applied to two places, both of which accepted me. But I liked Chaminade more, and the rest is history.”
Bonnetty said all his instructors “have been extremely helpful in my success.” But he’s especially grateful to Associate Professor and Environmental Studies Director Gail Grabowsky for underscoring the danger of ecological threats confronting Hawaii and the rest of the planet.
“Professor Gail ignited my love for environmental issues and led me down a path that impacted me so much that I realized that wanting to change the way the world views the environment, while not easy, is something I would be willing to spend my life in the pursuit of,” Bonnetty said.
This dedication to protecting the global ecosystem prompted Bonnetty to work with Kupu, a Honolulu-based nonprofit organization that provides young people with internships and service-learning opportunities so they can become stewards of Hawaii’s culture and natural environment.
Another instructor who stands out for Bonnetty is Professor Ronald Becker, director of the Criminology and Criminal Justice program. Dr. Becker also leads the five-day Underwater Forensic Investigation Workshop, which explores methods of locating, recovering and processing submerged evidence at crime scenes.
“These are things that I am so blessed to be a part of,” Bonnetty said, “and I will take a piece of what I learn from each experience into my future endeavors.
“Just remember to always aim higher,” he added, “and help as many people as you can do the same.”
Chaminade University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies, which prepares students for careers in fields such as law, economics, communications and information, consulting, science, ethics, health and environmental policy. Graduates of Chaminade’s Criminology and Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science program pursue careers in law enforcement, public safety, administration and other areas at the federal, state and local level.