I've heard from several parents of late bloomers who want their kids to see this week's Long Story Short with Hilo native and successful architect Robert Iopa.
Back in high school, Robert and his buddy Billy Kenoi (later to become Big Island Mayor) were not marked for success. They graduated only by the skin of their teeth and, let's just say, they were not being wooed by colleges for their academics.
On Long Story Short, Robert recalls his grandmother’s dismay at his “D” grade average at Waiakea High School. “I mean, she literally was looking at me almost with tears in her eyes, saying, ‘So, what are you gonna do now?’” Robert remembers. “I said, ‘I’m going to be an architect.’” Though at the time he hardly knew what the job entailed, he found his creative fire and became an award-winning architect. After designing projects in the Far East, he runs a large firm in Hawaii and seeks to incorporate the Hawaiian culture in every building.
This episode is online at http://www.PBSHawaii.org/ourproductions/longstory.php
...and may also be viewed on-air on PBS Hawaii this Sunday afternoon (July 27, 2014) at 4:00 pm.