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student profile

William Finau

Charlotte Achen

For second-year student William Finau, attending Cabrillo College has meant finding like-minded, academically ambitious peers who have helped him move toward his dream of a career in law.

William came to Cabrillo after visiting an aunt in Boulder Creek and finding out about the school from his cousins, who were attending at the time. He envied the sense of direction they had, and while he had been considering going back to school for a while, this finally gave him the push he needed to go for it. He chose Cabrillo because he could stay with his aunt and have his cousins show him the ins and outs of academic life. He currently lives in Santa Cruz and is originally from East Palo Alto. His family is from Tonga, an island in the South Pacific.

William is now double majoring in Philosophy and Communications. He was drawn to Philosophy because of its focus on critical thinking, logical reasoning, and abstract ideas. He is interested in Communications because of the importance of communications in all aspects of society, including interpersonal communications, inter-cultural communications, and group communications. He believes his two majors will make him an especially qualified law school applicant, and will allow him to thrive wherever he ends up. His dream school is UCLA because of its internship opportunities and learning possibilities. He is also interested in UC Berkeley.

A career in law is appealing to William for several reasons. He loves the idea of participating in argumentation and logical reasoning, and is intrigued by the idea of diction and being a master of words. And, of course, he also wants to help people. He grew up in a poor neighborhood and was subject to illegal searches by the police as a child; he didn’t know his rights, so he couldn’t do anything to stop it. With these experiences in mind, he hopes to help stop the “us versus them” mentality present in so many of these neighborhoods by changing the prevailing perceptions in these communities that the law is something to be feared or resented. He sees a career in law as a great way to facilitate this.

He feels his participation in the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society (AGS) and his role of Vice President of Community Service for the group was a truly enriching experience. Being part of a select group of people who were as passionate about academic success as he was affirmed his aspirations for academic excellence. William believes the following proverb succinctly describes his how he feels about his involvement in AGS: "As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another." Participating in a group that consisted of sharp people only worked to sharpen his character and his academic ambitions.

William was recently a winner of the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Essay Contest and Scholarship Award. He believes he won that award because he put his heart into every word of the essay he wrote. Rather than attempting to elicit pity or sorrow in the essay he submitted, he aimed to be inspirational while talking about how MLK, Jr.’s philosophy and social justice work helped influence his own life. He wanted everyone who took the time to read his essay not to think, "Oh, this kid had it rough," but to feel encouraged to pursue their own personal goals and aspirations.

William's message to all current and prospective Cabrillo students:

"Cabrillo has a rich learning community, and the teaching faculty is phenomenal. The school didn't just hire teachers--they hired people who have real-world experience from all walks of life, from American Express executives to instructors who have travelled the world. Keep an open mind, and you'll learn more than just facts in a book."

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Students Speak Out

What students say about Cabrillo College:


"Both the small class sizes and diverse student body have helped me decide that Cabrillo College is where I want to continue my education!"-Katie
Communication Studies


"The classes and teachers here at Cabrillo are very engaging and not afraid to tackle tough concepts!"-Santiago


"In addition to a wide range of green classes available, Cabrillo College has a variety of professors with vital real world experience."-Kyle


"I really enjoy the campus, particularly the Cabrillo Gallery. This makes it feel not just like a school, but also a nice place to spend your time."-Shawn


"Cabrillo College and the Honors Program have successfully helped prepare me for my Fall transfer to SF State. "-Casey


"Cabrillo is a great place to start. The flexibility of class schedules has allowed me to work while attending college."-Michael
Early Childhood Education


"I love the new photography lab and the various student services available here at Cabrillo!"-Rachel
Art Photography


"In addition to a great campus environment, Cabrillo College is home to an exceptional culinary program."-Anthony,
Culinary Arts & Hospitality Mngmnt


"The teachers at Cabrillo are very informed and can often help you with career opportunities in your field."-Charlotte


"I am impressed by Cabrillo College’s affordability and the learning resources available such as the Math Learning Center and the Writing Center."-Dustin


"I really enjoy the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Cabrillo."-Tori


"In addition to a wide range of green classes available, Cabrillo College has a variety of professors with vital real world experience."-Rory
Construction & Energy Management


"What I love about Cabrillo College is the central location and small class sizes!"-Milo

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