Whiz Kid: A boy making goals on and off the soccer field

Whiz Kids

HONOLULU (KHON2) — He’s a boy with a big heart. Great grades. And, he’s an athlete.

Manoa Monteiro is making goals on and off the soccer field. Meet our newest whiz kid.

This 11-year-old boy has more drive and determination than most people more than half or triple his age.

“Look at everyone around you,” said Manoa Monteiro. “I like to be inspired by everyone around me. Oh I see someone exercising. I want to do that. I see someone getting good grades. I want to do that. I want to surround myself with people I know I can learn from and get motivated by.”

The 7th grader at Highlands Intermediate plays on the rush soccer club.

The team recently competed against soccer clubs across the country at Surf Cup, a prestigious tournament based in San Diego.

“My dad taught me how to play soccer ever since I was little,” said Monteiro. “Always there to coach me. I want to improve in anything I do. I think athletics is a good way to manage my time and stay healthy in general.”

But it’s not just the soccer field where Manoa’s reaching goals.

At Kanoelani Elementary School, Manoa worked with two classmates and competed in the American Savings Bank keiki company contest.

“For the keiki contest we had to build and design a product that would sell,” said Monteiro. “We won first place. Our idea was a code road, an adjustable ice maker.”

They ended up winning $15,000 for the school. By the way, he was also student ambassador, on the student council, plays the saxophone, and asked to speak at a school assembly on how choosing love can impact students in their everyday lives.

And before he left Kanoelani, he was chosen as male 6th grade student of the year.

“The teachers chose one male and one female for 6th grader of the year award,” said Monteiro. “I won that. Mind blowing. I didn’t expect it to be me at first. I’m blessed to get that award. I guess it’s just me working hard in the school and putting effort into everything I do.”

KHON2 asked Where do you get your inspiration from?

“Mostly my parents,” he said. “They helped me. Everything I did they experienced with me. My mom learned to play soccer to see how it felt for me and my sister playing.”

His mom says Manoa’s drive is self-motivated.

At first, she was worried.

“You have so much on your plate already,” said Lynn Monteiro, Manoa’s mom. “He’s always that adventurous kid that wants to do more. I said, ‘Go for it.’ I’m like ‘Did you think about it besides all the other stuff you’re doing?’ He said ‘Yeah mom I can do it.’ I said ‘Ok. Go for it.’ We are super proud. We cant believe how he pushes himself every day to accomplish everything he does. He does so much every day. Music instruments, soccer, so many things for his school, voluntary. He stays up late preparing for things. At 11, I’m amazed he has that drive to do that on his own most of the time.”

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