Skip to main content

SNHU Spotlight: Sharla Kaleihua Kahale-Miner, BS in Criminal Justice Grad

Sharla Kaleihua Kahale-Miner, a 2023 criminal justice graduateSharla Kaleihua Kahale-Miner '23 isn't your average hula-dancing grandmother of nine. She's also an aspiring lawyer with important plans to work toward addressing the displacement of the people of Hawaii.

In spring of 2023, she took another step toward that goal when she finished her bachelor's degree from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

“I'm from the big island of Hawaii,” she said at the ceremony in Manchester, New Hampshire. “And I just graduated and earned a degree in criminal justice.”

Kahale-Miner traveled almost 5,000 miles to celebrate among her fellow graduates. “This was very important to me, to graduate in person,” she said. “Right now, I'm so excited and amazed that I finally got to this point after four years.”

And it was an eventful four years. She even attended the Grammy Awards twice and brought her schoolwork with her. “I have a daughter who is a famous musician in Hawaii, her name is Kimié Miner,” she said. “A couple of times, we went to the Grammys, and I had school.”

She did her coursework while her grandchildren slept after the award shows.

When she first enrolled at SNHU, Kahale-Miner was already a mother of four and grandmother of nine. She worked in travel management for 30 years and owned her own hula studio, too. But despite her full life, she decided she could make even more of an impact.


Changing Paths at 61: The Journey of an Aspiring Attorney

One of her daughters inspired her to start on a new path. “She was a flight attendant for about five years,” Kahale-Miner said. “And she wanted to become a pilot.”

Seeing her daughter reach that dream inspired Kahale-Miner to go after a dream of her own. “If she can fly an airplane, I can go back to school and get a law degree,” she said.

Although law degrees aren't currently offered at SNHU, she plans to attend law school in Hawaii to build upon the criminal justice degree she just earned and make a positive impact on her community.

“We have land that comes from generations that they've missed out on, so my goal is to become an attorney to help them get back their property and get back their land,” Kahale-Miner said. “So more Hawaiian people will stay in Hawaii and not have to leave their home.”

She said she has a responsibility to care for her family and the people of Hawaii. “My kuleana so to speak, which is my responsibility, is to lead not only my children, but my grandchildren,” she said. “And leave a legacy.”

A degree can change your life. Choose your program from 200+ SNHU degrees that can take you where you want to go.

Mars Girolimon '21 '23G is a staff writer at Southern New Hampshire University where they earned their bachelor's and master's, both in English and creative writing. In addition to their work in higher education, Girolimon's short fiction is published in the North American Review, So It Goes by The Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library, X-R-A-Y and more. They're currently writing their debut novel, which was Longlisted for The First Pages Prize. Connect with them on LinkedIn.

Explore more content like this article

A homeland security professional monitoring a series of security camera feeds.

What Can You Do With a Homeland Security Degree?

Homeland security is a mission-driven career field focused on national threats such as terrorism, natural disasters and public health crises. While everyone working in homeland security helps to keep the nation and its people safe, careers can vary quite a bit.
Katlyn Genovese, a SNHU criminal justice graduate dressed in her SNHU graduation cap and gown.

SNHU Spotlight: Katlyn Genovese, BS in Criminal Justice Grad

At the age of 29, Katlyn Genovese’s ‘23 life was completely derailed. With a second chance at life, Genovese said she didn’t want to waste it.
Dr. Nickolas Dominello, a senior associate dean of social sciences at Southern New Hampshire University

Academic Spotlight: Dr. Nickolas Dominello, Senior Associate Dean of Social Sciences

Dr. Nickolas Dominello, a senior associate dean of social sciences at SNHU, said hearing from students is one of the things he enjoys most about his job. Recently he answered questions about his background, how he makes those connections with online students and more.

About Southern New Hampshire University

Two students walking in front of Monadnock Hall

SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs. Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.