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Humans of the U: Joa Navarro

Editor’s Note: The University of Utah acknowledges the overwhelming devastation of the wildfires on Maui. With more than 100 dead, hundreds more missing and the town of Lahaina largely destroyed, the natural disaster has impacted members of our campus, their friends and family members. If you need support, you can access resources here and here

“I wanted to come to the University of Utah because it is different. I like the outdoor stuff and there are a lot of things here that we can’t do in Maui. I am looking forward to snowboarding in the winter, hiking, visiting national parks and going to football games. The Eccles Business School is also really good, and I want to major in business.

I’m interested in things like investing and I’ve always wanted to start my own business. I like working for myself. So studying business seemed very interesting to me.

With the wildfires in Maui, it’s been a terrible way to move away from home. It was all happening really fast. I am making the best of it. It’s hard to say goodbye to everyone, and I didn’t get to say goodbye to everyone I wanted to on Maui. So it was super hard to leave there. I’m getting homesick already and it’s not just typical homesickness, but the fact that you can’t go back to it anymore. But I am definitely looking forward to opportunities out here for sure.

In the future, if there’s an opportunity to start a business in Maui that’s something I would be interested in. Before the fires happened, I didn’t feel like there were as many opportunities for new businesses. But we will see what happens during the rebuilding process. An opportunity might open up at home to do something that will help out the community.”

Read about Joa’s experience escaping the Maui wildfires here.

Joa Navarro, first-year University of Utah student from Maui