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DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM " No matter how disheartening the circumstance, we can choose to complain or encourage; to quit or proceed; to cower or remain confident. Our differences should not make us insecure and weak when they can be great sources of strength and courage,” said Carissa Kano, Miss Honolulu and Hawaii Baptist Academy graduate who wore a back brace 23 hours daily in the seventh and eighth grades after being diagnosed with scoliosis. Above, Kano at Hawaii Baptist Academy.